Saturday, June 28, 2008

I'm in Stitches

You ever get on a run of silly ideas and want to play with things? I am on that right now. And it all has to do with stitching things together.

I'm not talking about sewing or something like that. I'm "stitching" together photographs. Panoramas. Panos.

I made my first one a few weeks ago when we had a storm go through. I had read about how to shoot images to make a pan, but had never done it. So I figured "why not try one?" So I shot three or four images, took them off the camera and into the photo program, and voila! - a panorama. It was kind of easy, thanks to the software. The only thing I could think of to do different was the way to shoot the images in the first place. I mean, they turned out great, but if I had shot vertically instead of horizontally, I could have gotten more of the cloud detail of the storm higher.

So this evening we had a storm come through, and this was my chance. I went up to a local "lookout park" and watched the storm come in. I set the camera for the correct exposure, and proceeded to take ten images in vertical format, pivoting around and making sure I had enough overlap. I then took them home and let the computer "do its thing." It took a while (because the images are huge, and it takes a lot of CPU cycles to compute the information) but I got a really cool image.

My ultimate plan would be to do this at night under the stars (preferably during an aurora) but I don't think I could ever get the shot, due to the time needed for the exposures. See, the stars move from our vantage point, and taking their photo involves more than a "snapshot." It takes many seconds for each exposure, and I don't think there is any way to get all the shots and then align them. It might be an unrealistic goal right now.

So in the meantime, I'll stick with the daylight stuff. But at least I can say it's cool.

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