Panoramic Image of Small Waterfall
The guy clambering around on the rocks with a camera and tripod is me! In case you wonder what I was photographing, here’s the photo I ended up with. I used to shoot with both 4×5 and 8×10 view cameras, and I still think in those terms. So……I now shoot digital, but nearly always on a tripod, using a panoramic head. Not so much for the wide view, but for the quality of image I can get.
The photo of the Elk River Falls is a good example. It is an 8 image stitch, 2 rows of 4 images, each overlapping by 20-25%. This was shot with a Canon Digital Rebel 350d, 8Megapixel camera and Canon 17-40 L type lens. A single shot is critically sharp to maybe a bit larger than 10″ x15″, to my mind, not big enough! The final stitched and somewhat cropped image has a pixel size of 6675 x 5425, making a truly sharp print @ 240ppi, 28″ x 22.5″.
Presently, I shoot with a Canon 40d, and about 80% of my shots are taken with the 17-40L lens, which is a very good optic. I use a Giottos tripod and Panosaurus spherical panorama head. Nearly all are taken in the portrait format. Typical stitched images I do are 2 or 3 rows by 2 to 6 columns wide. Although PhotoShop CS3 and 4 have stitching capability, I find them awkward and slow. I use PTGui, a much easier, more flexible and faster program, and in my experience, it makes smoother blends automatically.
One drawback to this is that action photos rarely work! Ocean waves generally require quite a bit of PhotoShop work, as they move too much between exposures. Rivers and waterfalls are much less of a problem, as I tend to give them slow shutter speeds, in the area of 1/4 to 1 second, and the blurred water blends well at the seams.