Panoramic Photography and Stitching “Errors”

Hi Folks:

In a previous post I rambled on a bit about panoramic photography – basically a system where one combines several images into one using software designed for that purpose.  One can also take several images of the same scene at different exposures and combine them into one HDR image using the same software.  Mostly I use Autopano Pro for stitching, although I’ve also used Hugin, and since I work extensively in Lightroom I’ve been playing a bit with Photoshop CS5‘s HDR Pro and panorama tools as well.  To create a stitched image the software looks for the same points in two or more images and assigns them as ‘control points’.  The combined image is then mapped around those control points.  Usually this works very well, but in my previous post I talked a bit about parallax errors and things like that, and sometimes these images don’t get mapped together perfectly.  This can create situations like this:

(200% crop)

Depending on the severity it’s sometimes possible to fix these in Photoshop.  This one would be difficult.

However, that’s not the type of error I wanted to write about today.  I’ve had a few occasions where the stitched image yields a result that’s had me scratching my head and asking my computer, “What were you thinking?”  Still, they’re certainly creative in their own way!

Here are a few examples:

This is a panorama I made on Lake Okanagan in Kelowna, BC.  It worked out pretty well, except for where the shoreline meets the water about halfway across the frame.

This is what happened when I tried to ‘fix’ it:

Not quite what I was expecting but it certainly is pretty.

This is an image I tried to make on the ferry crossing from Vancouver Island to the mainland.  Since I was standing on a moving ferry and shooting handheld I didn’t expect too much out of it:

Again, when I tried to fix it, it came out like this:

And finally, I had a selection of six images of a crab shell that I made up at Qualicum Beach, BC.  The final HDR merge looks like this:

But the first time I joined the images together it came out like this:

I’m not sure if that’s supposed to be a hubcap or a steering wheel…

Anyway, if you’ve seen my Flickr photostream you’ll know that these aren’t typical of my work, but they do have a certain creative flair.  I think I’ll keep them.

Take care,
Mike.

P.S. You can find more of our posts on photography and Lightroom tutorials here, and you can find links to over 200 other sites that have Lightroom tips, tutorials and videos here.

2 Replies to “Panoramic Photography and Stitching “Errors””

  1. worzelodd

    GREETINGS FROM THE ODD- i love the photo of the water from the ferry- Once I had a wonder full surfing time and saw a lot of water in the green room and getting drilled head first into the sand. Very cosmic, I like..

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