Death Valley National Park  

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sjhenry
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Death Valley National Park

by sjhenry » Sat Oct 16, 2010 5:00 pm

The following picture is from the Death Valley National Park. Any comments are welcome. You can view a larger version at http://www.gigagraphy.com/gallery/dvnp_g16.html

Jones


Last edited by sjhenry on Sat Oct 16, 2010 5:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by irpano » Sun Oct 17, 2010 12:01 am

I liked the repeating design in the folds of the hills. On first viewing I thought it to be a little flat(Maybe my monitor) Larger version is better in midtone colours. Checking the levels i find a lot of clipping. When adjusted it enhances the impact on the viewer. A well seen image

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by sjhenry » Sun Oct 17, 2010 3:24 am

Thank you for your input. I see that it is muted in colors. I was looking for ways to improve the post processing side of the panorama making. This helps me a lot.

Some of the technical details that I forgot to mention.

Pano Head: Merlin with Papywizard
Camera: Canon 50D
Lens: Sigma 50-500 shot at 500mm
Rows: 7
Columns: 28
Resulting image size: 71877 X 23959 pixels
FOV: 240mm lens on a 6X17 format

Jones

Jones

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Takeo
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by Takeo » Sun Oct 17, 2010 5:30 pm

Bravo! the large version is very nice, pity that you had never develop The fullscreen! This photo and others would have more impact!
Canon 5D Mark II.

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by fma38 » Sun Oct 17, 2010 5:40 pm

Amazing colors! Great shot.
Frédéric

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by mediavets » Sun Oct 17, 2010 5:59 pm

sjhenry wrote:Thank you for your input. I see that it is muted in colors. I was looking for ways to improve the post processing side of the panorama making. This helps me a lot.

Some of the technical details that I forgot to mention.

Pano Head: Merlin with Papywizard
Camera: Canon 50D
Lens: Sigma 50-500 shot at 500mm
Rows: 7
Columns: 28
Resulting image size: 71877 X 23959 pixels
FOV: 240mm lens on a 6X17 format

Jones

Jones

How did you manage to get such depth of field with such a long focal length lens?
Andrew Stephens
Many different Nodal Ninja and Agnos pano heads. Merlin/Panogear mount with Papywizard on Nokia Internet tablets.
Nikon D5100 and D40, Sigma 8mm f3.5 FE, Nikon 10.5mm FE, 35mm, 50mm, 18-55mm, 70-210mm. Promote control.

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by sjhenry » Sun Oct 17, 2010 10:46 pm

Takeo wrote:
Bravo! the large version is very nice, pity that you had never develop The fullscreen!

Takeo,
Thanks you for your compliment. Currently I am going to put online with 20MB version only due to some number of files restriction on the hosting plan (75,000 files), space (10GB) restriction as per the fine prints even though I am on an everything unlimited plan. The Zoomify converter makes about a 4MB worth of 400 tiles for a 20MB file. I have already used about 10,000 files. I am going to go with this for a while and see how things work.

mediavets wrote:
How did you manage to get such depth of field with such a long focal length lens?

I use the following steps to do it.
1. Find the depth of field for the focal length and camera for various distance and make it readily available in the netbook or offline.
2. Analyze the scene.
a. Does it need a 500mm lens? It may or may not. I determine depending on the view/composition. If the answer is yes, then go to next step.
b. Is the 500mm lens DOF (depth of field) going to work? Again it may or may not work. Here I use the the DOF chart, how the scene presents itself.
c. Can the scene work by re-focusing for each row - eyeball the scene with the DOF number?
d. Can the scene work by re-focusing a few frames?
3. Once you got that information, look again the DOF chart and choose an aperture that meets the requirements of the scene.
4. Is there an option to do a focus-stacking for the scene?
5. Is it possible to focus at the hyper-focal distance for the given scene?

Once you got all the technical side nailed down, just practice, practice, practice at the location. There is no substitute for the practice.

The above scene is done by re-focusing at each row using camera's auto focus. The aperture used was F16, ISO 400 and a shutter speed of 1/400 secs. Once I reached the top row, I did not re-focus (7th row) since I found no interesting detail due to the haze. Sometime you hear online that F11 is the sweet spot for 1.6 crop factor sensor due to diffraction. But I use a minimum aperture of F16 and used F22 as well.

Another example of scene lending itself to use long focal length is at http://www.gigagraphy.com/gallery/rmnp_g140.html. Here Canon 50D was used with EF 400mm prime + 2X extender (total 800mm lens) with ISO 800, aperture F16 and shutter speed of 1/160 and re-focused at each row manually with OVF (optical view finder). Here I would have used F22 but I could not get the needed shutter speed - it is all a compromise. This scene lends itself because the distance between the bottom and top rows are only few hundred feet and the camera was about 800 feet away.

Jones
Last edited by sjhenry on Sun Oct 17, 2010 11:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by irpano » Mon Oct 18, 2010 12:08 am

Jones, I folow your method and say that I have been experimenting with a similar technique. On my calculations the focus distances for the scene would be 300metres, 750metres and hyperfocal (780 metres). I am using tufuse or helicon focus to fuse each of the 3 re-focused tiles into 1 element before running the results through APP. So your image would need 28 columns X 7 rows X 3 deep (588 images). can you confirm this as i have not been able to get out (Bad weather) and try this in the field
John



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by sjhenry » Tue Oct 19, 2010 3:03 am

John,

This panorama does not have 3 focus exposures for each and every image as you shown in your picture. It has a total of 196 images only (7 rows X 28 columns). What I did was to change the focus at the start of each row and make sure to use the DOF preview button in the camera to see a good focus. In effect it has 6 focal planes since I did not change the focus for the last row. This panorama was started at bottom-left and moved to the right and the next row to the left etc. This method works in most of the scenes where depth is within a particular range and the camera to scene distance is still around several hundred feet/meters. This method may not work if the nearest subject of interest is only a few feet away. The drawback here is that you had to spent your time watching through the viewfinder for any focus issue. If you see it, then press the pause button in Papywizard and take two or more different depth focus shots for that particular image and the move on to the next image. This needs a high concentration from the photographer. I have an example where I was not careful enough to focus correctly for a shot shown at http://www.gigagraphy.com/gallery/blnp_g8.html. If you view it in full zoom and see the bottom of the image, couple of small patches are not in focus. This is in fact I did not notice it when I was taking the photos. I saw that only after I developed. I have to crop the bottom of the panorama and include little more of the sky at the top - but I liked the composition. It was again taken with 50D + Sigma 50-500 at 500mm. Attached picture shows where it is.

The method you mention should work fine. I have never done that way to simply avoid any the post processing issue during fusion due to any movement. The plus in that method is to automate everything for the whole panorama. Also if the scene has any moving element fusing the multiple focus shot could be tricky and time consuming. Initially I thought about this method but never tried it in the field. Now I have to find a scene static enough to try it.

Jones


Last edited by sjhenry on Tue Oct 19, 2010 3:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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by irpano » Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:50 am

Jones. Thanks for the reply. I can see how you approached this capture. In the method used you obviously have fewer individual images to cope with than in my method, but how do you keep track of which location was bracket focused and then how do you process them to become part of the pano. Its my understanding that APP cannot fuse the bracketed tiles into one sharp image and then stitch then together into a pano. The focus bracketed image must be processed first before running through APP. Am I correct. The included image is an example of what i think you are doing and the measurements are only suggestions.



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by sjhenry » Thu Oct 21, 2010 2:54 am

John,

If the pictures are taken like the way you mention, then fusing them first is the correct step. The next step is to feed the APP. I have done this way not with lots of pictures but very few. For example, most of my giga pixel panorama are around 1 giga pixel. This makes it to take 100 to 120 shots using 50D depending on the target format I want. Out of these 100+ shots, I have taken 3 or 4 photos that use the focus stacking. In that case, it is easier to fuse them with Combine Z or Helican Focus.

My workflow for giga pixel panorama (aka gigagraph) is as follows.

1. Find the composition/target format needed. I have a cardboard cut-out with one string attached with the focal length to do it.
2. Use the preset generator to have the preset ready. Here I mainly use some fixed presets like 320mm for 6X17 gives me 1 giga pixel with Sigma 50-500 at 500mm end. If I use the 400mm, then it is 240m for 6X17 format. Some time I use both of my Merlin especially during the sun sets where I don't want to wait for the one to finish.
3. Download the files (RAW + small JPG)and leave it there for week or two until I find some time to process.
4. In Windows Explorer, I sort the JPG and copy them in its new folder.
5. Use MS ICE to do the initial draft version. If it is worth, then rename these files so that I can feed the APP with gigapan import.
6. If I have focus stack (never done any exposure stack yet), then fuse it with Photomatix.
7. Stitch, fix aligning issues and produce a 20MP file output.
8. Bring it to Paint.Net to do local contrast enhancement, white balance, levels. My Photoshop CS (32-bit) won't run on Vista 64. The upgrade should wait.
9. Re-size it for web.

This is my current workflow. All the gigagraph that you see in my site are from poor JPG only. I am going to change it to make the TIF files from the RAW once the gigagraph is worth it. The reason is that some of my National Park gigagraphs are taken in ISO 1600 due to the shutter speed. I want to have a little cleaner input.

One more trick I use for the exposure bracketing is to change the shutter speed within the sequence of the pictures. For example, out of 5 rows, the bottom three rows may be taken with 1/200 seconds and the 4th row with 1/320 and the 5th row with 1/400 seconds. APP can deal with it little bit. Sometime it creates a hard neural density filter effect. For my situation, it is more than enough.

Jones

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by irpano » Sat Oct 23, 2010 12:57 am

Jones, You workflow is similar to mine, up to the point where you run your Jpg's through MS ICE. I only shoot for a mosaic of finished printed size of 800 X 285. (This fits a universal frame I have for mounting them). Most of my images are fairly static without any people ans so I can use low shutter speeds and small apertures for big depth of field.
It when I have a scene where the closest object is about 5 metres and the far object is at infinity, with lots of individual focus points in between that i need to use focus bracketing.

With your cut out (I have tried this also), how far do you hold it from your eyes to view the scene. I have some difficulty with the geometry involved.
Good luck with your panos

John

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by sjhenry » Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:13 am

John,

Please find the attached picture show the 6X17 format card I use. It has a cutout in the middle of size of 168 X 56 mm - the 6X17 film format size. Some 6X17 film cameras even don't have this frame size. They are almost kind of 6X15 size. I attached a string at the middle with focal length in mm (millimeter) as well. The string currently has focal lengths 72mm, 90mm, 120mm, 150mm, 180mm, 210mm,240mm, 300mm, 400mm and 600mm measured from the frame. I put the focal length tag at my eye, try to be at the center of the frame as good as possible and look through the cutout. It gives me an approximate view - not perfect. All I need to know is the corners so that I can start the panorama correctly at the bottom-left. This concept is derived from the wire frame viewfinder.

If you need an accurate view, you can get optical viewfinders as well. But they are pricey. For example, the Fotoman camera has both the optical viewfinder and corresponding masks for various film formats at http://www.fotomancamera.com/accessories_list.asp#241 It gets kind of pricey when you have to add the viewfinder and all the masks you need. Also if you take panorama in a particular target format, you get used to it very quickly for seeing in that format and the focal length. So a wire frame viewfinder is more than enough.

Actually I met a photographer in Yellowstone this year who used the optical viewfinder on his 5D MarkII to take panorama with a 200mm prime. He put the optical view finder on hot shoe with another attachment and took the shots - good for few shot panorama. When he asked me how I do it, I told him I use the wire frame viewfinder.

Hope this information helps you.

Jones




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