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Thread: Ek Balam First Panorama Attempt

  1. #1

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    Ek Balam First Panorama Attempt

    This pyramid was beautiful and huge, I took pictures intending to try a panorama not really knowing anything or thinking much beyond the moment. I have finally merged them and this is the result. The most important thing I have learned is that I should have had a tripod with me. I have tried to clone out the people however there are so many of them I have already taken out a few and will continue to plug away at them as time goes on. I'm happy with my first attempt for the most part.

    Ek Balam First Panorama Attempt

    Thanks
    Diane

  2. #2
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Ek Balam First Panorama Attempt

    Panoramas are not something I do, but the point about the importance of a tripod is, I think, at the heart of the matter. Although there has been some discussion on here in the past about making panoramas from hand-held images, as you have done.

    I think you're also trying to take on a bit of a challenge in trying to clone out the people.

    I think you should be very happy with this as a first attempt and if you see it as a learning exercise it will prove valuable in the future.

  3. #3

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    Re: Ek Balam First Panorama Attempt

    Looks good

    A few tips:
    - camera in portrait position gives you a bit more height to play with, but you'll need more photos to get the same horizontal coverage
    - some programs allow to mask out parts of images in the sequence, this could avoid (reduce) cloning after merging the images (this works assuming that the persons you want to remove, move around enough)

  4. #4

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    Re: Ek Balam First Panorama Attempt

    Thanks Donald and Remco still wishing I had brought the tripod in with us the more I look at it the more it doesn't seem straight and I keep seeing the crop up to the bottom step. I can really see the wisdom of also more pictures in the set. I would have also loved to have done more justice to the height of this particular structure from the bottom it seems to go on forever it was an awesome sight. I sent the camera up to the top with my niece and my son for pictures. I didn't climb it as I learned I had a fear of heights from climbing Chitzen Itza years ago, had to come down that pyramid sitting down holding the safety rope not looking down. Funny now but not so much at the time.

  5. #5
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    Re: Ek Balam First Panorama Attempt

    I have done a few panorama's and while modern software makes a vey good job of stitching hand held images a tripod is essential to maintain the very best quality.
    The main problem is one of parallax.
    Like when you look at a stationary object by opening and closing each eye in turn and notice how the position of the object appears to change position.

    With panorama's we need to make sure the point where the image reverses itself within the lens is positioned directly over the axis on which our camera turns. This is called the 'point of no parallax' and removes all problems with mis-allignment of objects within our stitched panorama. It is often said the once an object is further than about 4m away from the front of our lens that parallax ceases to become a problem but I have still found instances where the software has been unable to match parts of the image that are 20 - 30 metres away.

    Yes it does suffer from distortion and as has been mentioned in previous posts - include plenty of space top and bottom when composing your main subject, this can easily be cropped after the images have been stitched.

    You might also want to correct distortion and CA prior to stitching your individual frames - this is easily done in most RAW converters.

    In summary - a great first attempt.
    Last edited by CBImages; 15th February 2012 at 03:29 PM.

  6. #6

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    Re: Ek Balam First Panorama Attempt

    Personally, I don't think tripods are as essential as having a significant degree of overlap between the images (in the order or 15 to 20%) - trying not to indroduce too much variation in height as you pan (so get in a solid stance - practice rotating at the hips & waist etc) - and trying not to have moving elements in the shot (or if they do, keep them on parts of the frames that don't overlap). Shoot manual exposure too of course.

    This is an example of a 13 shot panorama - hand held ... (Click for large view)

    Ek Balam First Panorama Attempt

  7. #7

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    Re: Ek Balam First Panorama Attempt

    I usually lock in my settings as well (or use manual) while taking such shots so as not to have different exposures as you turn toward varying light sources.

  8. #8

    Re: Ek Balam First Panorama Attempt

    I don't use tripods for any of my panoramas and they come out looking good...

  9. #9
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    Re: Ek Balam First Panorama Attempt

    I agree with Remco when he stated, "camera in portrait position gives you a bit more height to play with"

    I agree with Chris when he states, "With panorama's we need to make sure the point where the image reverses itself within the lens is positioned directly over the axis on which our camera turns."

    I also totally agree with Colin (as usual) when he mentions that, "I don't think tripods are as essential" for panoramas.

    Now to put it all together in my uses:

    A tripod is not "essential" for me when shooting single string panos but, is absolutely essential when I am planning to stitch several or many strings of images into a panorama.

    I can shoot a hand-held panorama far more efficiently when using an eye level viewfinder than when using the LCD viewfinder because it is easier to rotate the camera around a single axis when the using the eye level viewfinder.

    The technique that I use then hand holding my pano strings is the same as I used when panning with a hand held motion picture or video camera. I rotate by swiveling at my hips rather than swiveling my hands and head. This keeps the camera more or less rotating around a single point.

    Ek Balam First Panorama Attempt

    I do recommend using the camera in the portrait position because you have a greated top to bottom field of view and can therefore use a longer focal length lens, if desired. The left to right coverage is simply predicated by the number of images you are stitching. However, I personally, have a harder time accurately hand-holding a pano string when the camera is on the portrait position than when it is in the landscape position. This is probably due to my style of swiveling around and may not be the same for other photographers.

    When using a tripod mounted camera in shooting portrait oriented panos, the standard ball head may have some problems in that the camera is cantilevered over to the side of the head and is not rotating around a single point. This is more often encountered when shooting close subjects or a pano which includes close subjects. Using either a L bracket or a specialized pano head (such as the Panosaurus) prevents those problems.

    When shooting panos which include many strings of images, a specialized pano mount of some type is a more accurate way to shoot and can be necessary when shooting subjects which are close to the camera. Aditionally, very possibly specialized pano software would help with extreme panos. Here is an extreme example of an extreme multi string pano image; a gigapixel panorama...
    http://www.tawbaware.com/maxlyons/gigapixel.htm
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 17th February 2012 at 04:14 PM.

  10. #10
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Ek Balam First Panorama Attempt

    Hi Diane,

    I think it is pretty darn good.

    I don't mind the people, they add interest and a sense of scale at the receding distances approaching the top.

    I intend to try my first pano as part of my Project 52 this year, I hope it turns out as good as yours has - and I'll have had the advantage of reading these replies.

    Cheers,

  11. #11

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    Re: Ek Balam First Panorama Attempt

    Thank you everyone, there is a lot of information here. The examples are fantastic, Richard the examples on the website are so beautiful the amount of work and the thought process, I am completely blown away. I will be using this thread to plan my next try, it won't be as impressive a subject as Ek Balam but I will be ready the next time I get to another ruin. I think planning something with Niagara Falls or along the Niagara gorge would be a neat project. Dave I look forward to seeing your first attempt thank you for your kind words.

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