Wide Angle Panoramas and Forced Perspective

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The Sparta Stage Stop, one of my most popular images, grew out of a love for old buildings, and a tough location. It is one of those images that just couldn’t happen without being able to stitch images together. The building is barely off the road, with a barbed wire fence about 10 feet in front of it. I thought the dirt road , at least as a foreground for this photo, was ugly.

I used my Canon 350d, with the 17-40 @17mm for this shot. With the small size sensor in the Canon Rebel camera, the 17mm lens is not very wide, like a 28mm on a full 35mm sensor. With 8 images, I was able to take in the full scene, in a very “forced perspective”, from right against the fence. The building stones in the corner are about 10 feet from the camera! For comparison, the image in the lower left, shows the same scene from across the road, with a normal lens.

The two images on the right, show the panorama editor screen, where you can drag the image around, to square up the perspective, horizon, etc. Top, shows how distorted the image becomes around the edges. Bottom, the final arrangement in PTGui before stitching. The image ended up, after cropping in PhotoShop, 11,804 x5339 pixels, making a print, 49″ x 22″ @ 240 ppi. I used rectilinear projection for this one, even though it really stretches the outer edges in an extremely wide angle stitch. Here it worked for me.


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