There has been quite an extensive hoos and haas about the HDR (high dymanic range) photography amongst the shutterbugs, and it does seem like everyone has been overly crazy about it. The photoraphy magazines have shed many techniques, on field and in the digital darkroom on getting that awesome multiple-exposure merged photographs. I do admit I find some HDR photos really astounding, but seriuosly, guys, I believe HDR is overrated. Sorry for not sharing the enthusiasm, but that is my honest opinion, and I am not going to tag along the crowd with this buzz, not just yet.
However, it suddenly came to my mind after thinking about two things. First: being the afore-mentioned photo-merging and stiching technique, and second: my recent craving for wide angle photography. I do love the idea of stiching and merging multiple photographs, though I am not so into HDR. On the other hand, I am extremely insane about getting a very wide shot. Now, panorama rings in my mind so loud that I could not help it but started getting the camera out from the bag and made something happen.
Panorama, for those of you who might not be so camera literate, is a technique of stiching more than one image together to form a wider view. Typically, the ordinary panorama consists of two or three photos beings merged together for a looooong, wide, horizontal view. That is ordinary. But why stay ordinary when current photo-editing software allows you to stitch as many photographs as possible? The only limiting factors would be your computer processing power, and of course, your own free time.
Being overly eager, I made my first attempt in my own room. Sorry, I know this is a poor choice, but it was at night already and my hand just got so itchy. I was lazy to go out, so yeah.
PANORAMA ON MY ROOM
STANDARD LENS WIDE ANGLE END
Come on, I know many of you want to see how Robin's room look like so badly. So here you go. It is pretty messy i know, but hey, if it is overly tidy and neat and squeaky clean, something must be wrong with me right?
In order to produce a panorama photograph, a few things must be considered, and I shall list them down as follows:
1) I took as many photographs as I can for stitching, and allow overlapping of 30% or more between photographs. For the above shot, I took 34 photographs. I kid you not. THIRTY FOUR photographs and they were stitched to form the super wide angle view, nearly 180 degrees. I was sitting on the bed, and my back was pressed on the wall/window behind me.
2) I adopted Manual Exposure settings and this is very crucial to maintain brightness and shadow consistencies. You do not want one part of the photograph dark, and the other bright, and it would be hard to stitch differently exposed photographs together. I shot at shutter speed 20 seconds, F/3.5, 14mm, ISO800.
3) I used Manual White Balance control to maintain colour consistency. Of course, under indoor flourescent lighting, White Balance of the camera could get tricky. Use the manual white balance control if the camera allows you to.
4) This is an important point, and I made sure the camera is leveled !! I did not use the tripod, but positioned the camera as horizontally flat as possible, to minimize perspective shifting in the photograph.
I know this will never replace a true ultra wide angle lens, but the technique could come in handy, provided the subjects are not moving, and time is not a restriction. Gosh, I am so eager to try this out this weekend already. Scenery shots will never be the same again, with panorama in head.
So what do you guys think of the room? I know its boring, but hey, it is my little crib, and I love it.