Panorama Help

LiveStrong2009

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I have been trying to create panoramas, by stitching multiple pics together. My issue is that sometimes my pics do not line up well, so it cuts a large portion out. Does anybody have suggestions to prevent this?
 
I don't have an answer for your question, but I will be keeping a close eye on this thread, as I would like some assistance with this as well.
 
Were you hand-holding the camera while taking the shots, or using a tripod?

What software are you using to try and stitch them together?
 
you need to be very careful that you keep your camera level which a tripod will help.

this is a common issue that can be ressolved if you rotate the camera around the center of the lens. you might google NNP or non parallax point for more specific information.

it is possible to hand hold, but not as effective and really not effective if you want to make prints much larger than would fit on a 11x17 piece of paper.
 
The majority of the shots I took were using a tripod, but many of them seemed to taper a lot. Imagine looking at photoshop CS4 and seeing the image stitched, but being 4 inches tall on the left end and 3 on the right. Which a very uneven line in the middle. That is what seemed to happen even with shots that used the tripod. I really want to get this skill under control soon because I am currently in one of the most beautiful places in the world. Banff National Park and headed to Glacier National Park...;)
 
1. Tripod
2. Camera level
3. Portrait orientation
4. Lens over point of rotation
5. Overlap of frames.

IMG_4015sm.jpg



Panamod.jpg
 
In addition to Ron's excellent diagrams (Is that a Luna 6 on the railing?) I'll add this:

Having fun and learning are indeed what it's all about. I'll repost my handy-dandy, fifty-cent panorama how-to...

John's basic 'How-to' guide to Panoramas...

1. In order to get a good pano, your camera has to be level, and has to rotate around the nodal point. This the point at which the image inverts. For practical purposes, with most lenses, using the sensor plane will work fine. What this means is that you have to shoot from a tripod for best results.

Therefore, put your camera on your tripod and level it. Even though my tripod legs and head both have levels built-in, I carry a small dollar-store spirit level in my camera bag to make sure everything is as close to level as I can get it.

2. Once I'm satisfied that everything is level and square and my tripod is locked (except for the rotating axis) where I want it, it's time to work on the exposure. Another important factor is to NEVER SHOOT PANOS IN AUTO! Set your camera to a manual or semi-manual mode (I use full manual, but either shutter or apeture priority will work as well).

Determine the range of your pano (eg the left and right limits) and then go through and meter the different areas. Find out what the camera is recommending as maximum and minimum exposure, and when you've done this for the full range of the image, then average the settings. Don't change these settings; yes some will likely be slightly under exposed, and some slightly over, but deal with it in post.

3. Now you're ready to start shooting. I always start at the left-hand end of the intended pano and work right, simply so that the images are in the correct order when they're on my computer, but that's up to you. Expose the first image, and choose a landmark about 2/3 of the way to the right-hand side of the frame. Now, being careful to ensure that you don't upset your level, move your camera so that the left-hand edge of the frame lines up on the land mark you just chose. Ideally you want about a 30-35% (or 1/3) overlap between each image. Continue shooting in this manner until you have the whole sequence captured.

4. Download and stitch using your favorite software.
A few tips: With respect to the issue of exposure: If there is an extreme dynamic range within the pano, (say bright sun to deep shade) I will often bracket each image 1/3 stop on each side, so that for every image used in the pano, you actually expose three. This gives you a bit of latitude in terms of trying to produce an image with a pleasing and realistic dynamic range, but be warned, it often looks hokey.

One of the most important tools you can have for taking panos (aside from a good tripod) are filters. There are two types, one is the circular polarizer (CPOL)for enhancing colours and deepening the blue in sky and the other is graduated neutral density(G-ND); these help to prevent blown skies and preserve detail on the ground. When using a CPOL, it's important to remember not to change it's setting through the course of the pano either. Find the optimum setting and use it at that setting for the whole image. Likewise with your G-ND; don't change their position or intensity.

Sorry, those example links are no longer valid.

Hope that's helpful

~John
 
Thought it looked familiar; I've got a Luna Pro F that's been my tried and true meter for many years. Great pieces of kit.
 


1. In order to get a good pano, your camera has to be level, and has to rotate around the nodal point. This the point at which the image inverts.

Not terribly important, but the correct point of rotation for a stitched panorama is the entrance pupil of the lens, not one of the two nodal points (a very common mistake). The approximate location of the entrance pupil is fairly easy to find - just look into the front of the lens and estimate where the iris appears to be. The entrance pupil may move as you zoom, so do the estimation at the zoom setting you intend to use.

Best,
Helen
 
Not terribly important, but the correct point of rotation for a stitched panorama is the entrance pupil of the lens, not one of the two nodal points (a very common mistake). The approximate location of the entrance pupil is fairly easy to find - just look into the front of the lens and estimate where the iris appears to be. The entrance pupil may move as you zoom, so do the estimation at the zoom setting you intend to use.

Best,
Helen

Learn something new every day! I'm certainly not going to dispute your expertise here Helen, but could you elaborate on the theory behind this? In my mind, having the lens rotate around the nodal point makes sense (Not saying it's correct, just that it makes sense in to me), whereas I don't 'get' the idea of having it rotate at the iris.

TIA
 
The idea that the lens should rotate about the front (first) nodal point is an attractive one at first glance. That's probably why it is such a common fallacy.

The entrance pupil is not at the physical location of the iris, but is where the iris appears to be when you look into the front of the lens. The entrance pupil is the virtual image of the iris created by the lens elements in front of the iris. As far as the 'outside world' is concerned (if the outside world concerns itself with such matters) it is the aim point of the light rays that are going to pass through the lens and form the image. (Only it isn't a point, of course - it is a disc with a finite area).

The light rays from a point in the object space (the outside world in front of the lens) that are heading towards the entrance pupil can emerge from the exit pupil and thus form the image. This is probably the key concept - the entrance pupil always defines which rays from a point in the object space can actually form the image (field stop permitting). The rays heading towards the front nodal point may not form the image - they do not have to.

Why is this important? Because there is only one plane of sharp focus. A ray heading towards the front nodal point from a point that is perfectly focussed will have an equivalent ray (real or imaginary) passing through the focussed image of that point. Rays from another plane have the location of their images defined by the rays that actually pass through the lens.

I'm sure that you will have questions - that was kinda rushed off.

Best,
Helen
 
Another way of looking at it.

Imagine what happens when the iris is stopped down to a pinhole. Which rays define the location of the (undiffracted) image - the tiny bundle passing through the pinhole, or rays that head towards the front nodal point but then hit the almost-closed iris blades?
 

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