Blog entries tagged with "panorama"

A study in panorama

Friday, January 1st, 2021 at 02:44pm

Every couple of years I clean behind my desk. I don’t do it more often as this task involves taking everything off the desk, unplugging everything and disassembling the desk. Once clean I then have to put it all back together, all up this takes a number of hours so is generally done when I have time off around the new year.

Previously I have taken a photo of the tidy desk, but this time I attempted to capture most of the room in a panorama:

Study in panorama (Lightroom)

I spent about an hour just on taking the photos for this, camera on tripod, in portrait with my homemade L bracket, and using my widest lens. Each set is eight or nine images and I took around five sets until getting a set I was happy with. I initially considered capturing the full 360°, but that was more difficult to get aligned so I settled on around 280°, skipping the cupboard and room doors.

The above panorama was merged in Lightroom with the built in tool, but if you look at the large image you can quickly find a number of alignment issues. Look along shelves, picture frames, the cornice, etc. A proper panoramic tripod head would have helped, but I don’t have one of those.

I had a try at using Photoshop to do the merge, it essentially gives the same results but with each source image as a layer so you can fine tune where the joins are and then re-merge for exposure. At least that is what I picked up from reading some tutorials, I don’t know how to do that because I rarely use Photoshop.

Thinking back at how I have made panoramas in the past I realised that I wanted to be able to go to a misaligned part and be able to fine tune that section so they were aligned. Something like I remember doing in the Canon PhotoStitch software, but that was 20 years ago and while I do happen to have the install for that, it doesn’t want to run under Windows 10.

Another program that have used is the Microsoft Image Composite Editor which I recalled was an amazing tool, but it was last updated five years ago. I gave it a try anyway, no better than Lightroom and also no fine tuning ability.

It was getting late, so thought that the Lightroom merge was good enough so I uploaded it to Flickr and wasn’t going to spend anymore time on it. Until today when I decided to see what had happened to another tool I remembered: Hugin

Back in 2011 on a road trip from Melbourne to Perth and back I played around a fair bit with Hugin. What I remember of it was that it could give good results, but it was also prone to crashing. I don’t know when I last used it because I don’t do panoramas that often and the one in Lightroom has been good enough when I do make a panorama. Upon finding that it was still an active project and that it had a release only a few weeks ago meant that I had to give it a try:

Study in panorama (Hugin)

I was impressed. While I saw the options to fine tune control points and other things, the above panorama was made using the simple settings and it has come out a lot better than Lightroom or Photoshop. All the big issues I saw before are fixed, with only a couple remaining on the lower right that could be fixed by a small amount of cloning.

However it is nowhere near as convenient as selecting the images in Lightroom and clicking Photo Merge > Panorama. Instead I exported full size versions as TIFF, loaded those into Hugin, generated the panorama, copied the result into the directory for Lightroom to see. I also took the final image into Photoshop for some content aware fill of floorboards in the corners and tweaked some levels before exporting the final JPEG for Flickr.

I don’t know if I will use Lightroom or Hugin for my next panorama, but it is good to know that suitable alternatives exist.

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Exploring Port Lincoln and surrounds

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011 at 12:28am

Today, day three of the road trip, was quite busy although we didn’t need to travel very far, only 161km, to our destination of Port Lincoln. We had planned it this way in order to spend most of the day past Port Lincoln in the Lincoln National Park.

We left Cowell at the reasonable time of 9am to first detour back to Lucky Bay (where the ferry would come in if it was not having a new ship built) to encounter an interesting 4×4 only track that we started to attempt in the Subaru. Fortunately we decided not to continue and resumed our journey south, but instead of following the highway, we followed the coastal road which took us to places such as Port Gibbon.

Port Gibbon

After some detours through Tumby Bay and Point Boston we arrived in Port Lincoln for lunch on the foreshore. Following a brief stop to check in to the motel, we set our sights on the Lincoln National Park, travelling all the way to the lighthouse at Donington Point to work our way back. Exploring some “recomomended for 4×4” tracks led us to bays and campsites such as the one at Fishermans Point.


It was around this time that the threat of rain turned into actual rain (late thunderstorms were forecast) so we decided against a 45 minute walk to the monument on Stamford Hill. Leaving the park we headed further away from Port Lincoln until we discovered that where we were trying to go was a drive called Whalers Way that was actually on private property and we hadn’t paid for a key. Despite this, the weather cleared up to give us a nice rainbow on the way back to town.

Full rainbow!

After dinner the sun was almost set which gave some interesting light, photos of which were taken from the Winter Hill Lookout as well as the Old Mill Lookout in town, but I think the best shots were taken from the motel of the grain terminal at dusk.

Grain terminal in Port Lincoln

Astute readers should have noticed that each of these four images is a stiched panorama, this is because I am not running through my normal image workflow, instead I am just experimenting with Hugin. But as the results are good enough from default settings, they are worth sharing, even though I may redo them when I get home. Note however that these are just some of the possible panoramas I am shooting. There are many more.

Tomorrow we are off to the last town for 1,200km, Ceduna. At 350km from Port Lincoln is could easily be done in half a day, but there are many things to potentially see on the western coast of the Eyre Peninsula. Our intention is to camp somewhere past Ceduna, so we will likely to be without internet for a few days until we reach Esperance in Western Australia.

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On the Eyre Peninsula

Sunday, March 6th, 2011 at 11:29pm

It is now the end of the second day of the road trip and we are sitting in a motel in Cowel, a town on the Eyre Peninsula. While the pressing need is for us to copy files of the cameras and onto the backup drives, I have also made a quick panorama using Hugin from shots I took at the Hummock Hill lookout of the steel pellet plant in Whyalla:

Whyalla Pellet Plant from Hummock Hill

This is 22 handheld shots combined with the default settings. The only change I made was to tweak the alignment to make the horizon (more) level. A pretty good job for minimal effort.

Yesterday’s goal was to get from Melbourne to Adelaide with as little hassle and in as short as time as possible. We mostly succeeded after only leaving a bit later than planned, detouring via Serviceton to look at the old railway station, encountering locusts and having an interesting time following Google Navigation through the Adelaide Hills. Checking into a motel south of the city and then heading further south (yes, the wrong direction) to meet up for dinner with a friend of Damien’s (who is also from Melbourne, but visiting Adelaide) rounded out the evening.

Today we wandered around Adelaide for a while (via Glenelg and the CBD) while trying to find some open shops. We couldn’t comprehend that in Adelaide, most shops don’t open until 11am, by when we had given up and headed north. A stop at Port Pirie for lunch and a brief detour through Port Augusta brought us to the Eyre Peninsula where we were planning to spend the night at either Whyalla or further along at Cowel. Although detouring out to Fitzgerald Bay and stopping for dinner in Whyalla, we made it to Cowel.

The plan for tomorrow is to get to Port Lincoln with enough time to also visit the Lincoln National Park. This will give us more time on the following day when we head up the other side of the peninsula towards Ceduna. This will be the first of three nights camping instead of staying in a motel. On the following day we will also be out of mobile coverage, so no updates or blog posts until we reach Esperance.

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Playing with panorama

Sunday, May 16th, 2010 at 04:55pm

Every so often when out taking photos I will take a series of shots with the intention of combining them into a panorama.

A few months ago I submitted the following image at the camera club as a landscape:

From Mount Worth

A couple of people commented that a panorama from the same spot may have been better. As it turns out, I had taken a series of shots from a short distance away:

From Mount Worth (panorama)

This was the result of feeding four images into AutoStitch, copying over some EXIF data (camera model, exposure, GPS) and then straightening and cropping in Lightroom.

The AutoStitch interface is a bit clunky, but it at least didn’t crash and/or hang when trying to save the output, which is what Microsoft ICE was doing.

I also created some other panoramas. Two from the same day as Mount Worth, of open cut coal mines:

Loy Yang Open Cut (panorama)

Yallourn Open Cut (panorama)

Then two from the walk up Mount Kosciuszko:

North from Kosciuszko (panorama)

Australian Alps (panorama)

The effort needed to create these was quite small, while the result is quite acceptable. I have been told that I could get an even better result from the stiching tool within PhotoShop, but I don’t use PhotoShop.

Once I work out an acceptable/affordable method of printing images larger than 8×12″, I will consider submitting a panorama as a competition entry.

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