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Thread: It should have been SO Simple...

  1. #1
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    It should have been SO Simple...

    It was anything but! OK. The world has seen a million photos of the Trevi Fountain in Rome, so, I get to Rome and decide to grab a shot or two, just for kicks.

    People everywhere, no place to get a clear image.

    It should have been SO Simple...

    When the police aren't watching I stood on a low railing while my wife steadied me, all to get the camera slightly higher than the throngs of masses pitching coins into the water (for luck, marriage, and divorce) and try to compose the image.

    It should have been SO Simple...

    Even at 4mm (24mm FFE) it’s like being in the front row of an IMAX theater and trying to see the entire screen at once. There is no way I can get it all in and no way to back up!

    OK, time for plan B, I’ll just take multiple shots and make a panorama in post processing, right? It sounded simple at the time.

    Fast forward. I’m home and have Photoshop open. I now find that the parallax is killing me! I was able to get the entire fountain in with 6 images but they look like this!

    It should have been SO Simple...

    After many trials and bad words that can’t be repeated in public, I am finally able to get the 6 images cobbled together – sorta. What a mess!

    It should have been SO Simple...

    After much pulling and yanking of the skew, resize, move, and a host of other Photoshop controls designed to make any Christian permanently loose his sanctification, I was able to get the image to have the approximate correct ratios and alignments. Owing to the effort involved, once I found a way to make it look almost reasonable, I wasn’t willing to start all over again just to get a more realistic rendition of the image so at this point, it is what it is. Maybe, may-be, someday, when I am feeling really macho, I’ll come back to it and try to do a better job but for today, I’ve cried Uncle enough for a month!

    It should have been SO Simple...

    The fountain at the junction of three roads marks the terminal point of the Aqua Virgo aqueduct, one of the original aqueducts that supplied water to ancient Rome. The 14 mile long Aqua Virgo led fresh water from a spring to Rome and into the Baths of Agrippa. It served Rome for more than four hundred years. In 538 AD Goth besiegers broke the aqueducts and medieval Romans were reduced to drawing water from polluted wells and the Tiber River, which was also used as a sewer.

    Work began on the current Trevi Fountain in 1732 and was finished in 1762 by Giuseppe Pannini using sculptures of Agrippa and "Trivia", the Roman virgin.
    Last edited by FrankMi; 26th March 2012 at 05:42 PM.

  2. #2
    GEORDIE's Avatar
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    Re: It should have been SO Simple...

    Hello
    Being such a photo novice I am just blown away with what you have done with this.No criticism just admiration.
    Colin

  3. #3
    Momo's Avatar
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    Re: It should have been SO Simple...

    What a great subject to photograph. Too many people, yes indeed! What time was the photo taken? Any chance of getting there earlier before the crowds?

  4. #4
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: It should have been SO Simple...

    Thank you for the kind comments, Colin and Darren. These were taken at about 3PM. I did get some about 3 weeks earlier at 10AM when is was freezing cold (it snowed later that day) and it was less crowded.

    It should have been SO Simple...

    You can see the double rail beside the white post that I had to stand on to get a shot above the crowds in the earlier images.

    The problem is that unless you can get inside one of the buildings on the second or third floor, you still can't get back far enough for a clear shot. This is one of those locations that has numerous tourists even in the dead of winter and as the weather warms up it is standing room only.

    They shut off the fountain early each morning and under police protection, vacuum up the thousands of coins tossed into the fountain and use them to support local charities.
    Last edited by FrankMi; 26th March 2012 at 05:25 PM.

  5. #5
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: It should have been SO Simple...

    Well done Frank,

    I actually had a go at straightening your original Library shot the other day - I mean, how hard can it be? you done the difficult bit, right!
    Wrong, I gave up after two goes and decided your decision was correct

    If I were wearing a hat, I dof it now, to you.

    I went there in the mid-seventies and it was just as busy then.

    Cheers,

  6. #6
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: It should have been SO Simple...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Well done Frank,

    I actually had a go at straightening your original Library shot the other day - I mean, how hard can it be? you done the difficult bit, right!
    Wrong, I gave up after two goes and decided your decision was correct

    If I were wearing a hat, I dof it now, to you.

    I went there in the mid-seventies and it was just as busy then.

    Cheers,
    LOL! I'm glad that you gave it a go, Dave. The experience will be of benefit next time you NEED to make that kind of correction.

    In the case of the Library I had a second set of images I could play with. For the Trevi, however, this was the best set I could get so it was do or die. I'm not real happy with the result but it sure beats a kick in the rear with a frozen boot!
    Last edited by FrankMi; 12th March 2012 at 07:02 PM.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: It should have been SO Simple...

    Quote Originally Posted by FrankMi View Post
    It should have been SO Simple...
    A remarkable piece of work.

    Is there no end to this man's patience and determination?

  8. #8
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: It should have been SO Simple...

    Patience is a virtue,
    Find it if you can;
    Seldom in a Woman, but
    Never in a Man!

  9. #9
    inkista's Avatar
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    Re: It should have been SO Simple...

    Ummm... have you considered using Hugin and vertical/horizontal control points? (she says, far too late to be of any practical help). Hugin will do the HDR thing at the same time it pano stitches, btw.

  10. #10
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: It should have been SO Simple...

    Quote Originally Posted by inkista View Post
    Ummm... have you considered using Hugin and vertical/horizontal control points? (she says, far too late to be of any practical help). Hugin will do the HDR thing at the same time it pano stitches, btw.
    Neat! I'll need to look into that. Looks like it could help me save what little hair I have left! Thanks Kathy!

  11. #11
    inkista's Avatar
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    Re: It should have been SO Simple...

    Glad to be of help! Also, with the PanoramaTools-based stitching packages like Hugin and PTGui, before you stitch the pano, you can use the preview of the pano to adjust the POV/perspective by simply dragging around. Typically, dragging vertically adjusts the pitch, dragging horizontally adjusts the yaw, and there will be a key/drag combination for adjusting roll. If you run into the wavy/bowed-horizon thing because of varying pitch between member images, it's super-easy to fix this way.

  12. #12

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    Re: It should have been SO Simple...

    You're making this hard. Rent, borrow or buy one of the Sony point and shoot cameras that take panoramas. I use the HX100V that will take panos in any one of 4 directions (left to right, right to left, top to bottom and bottom to top). The rear view screen will tilt: hold the camera as high as possible over your head to eliminate the crowds. The short end of the zoom lens may be short enough to catch the whole fountain without the pano.

    Glenn

  13. #13
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    Re: It should have been SO Simple...

    Hi Frank,
    I think you've done a wonderful job, considering the limitations. If I were to be ultra-critical there seems to be a bit of a colour shift where the images are stitched together, but it's pretty good none-the-less.
    You say it was cold (and looking at the way everyone is wrapped up I can believe it) so I'm guessing January or February and crowded. Dave also found it crowded. Yet I took my brood there in August 2002 (Yes, it was very hot) and had no problem getting a family shot sitting on the edge of the fountain and numerous other shots from surrounding areas.
    Maybe the tip is: Go when it's hot and all the tourists will stay away!

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