Los Angeles & California Stock Photography

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Stitch Photos Into Panoramas

You can get decent photos out of a standard, consumer-grade digital camera and with a little post-processing turn them into fantastic wide-angle images. Here's an example of the kind of photo you'll get from this process. Even though I shot this hand held with no tripod I was able to get fantastic results with my Panorama photography
This is an image of the 2000 Avenue of the Stars building in Century City, CA. taken last week. Note in the finished panorama I removed portions of the Century Towers in the background that were looming on top, replaced the sky with blue sky and dramatic clouds, narrowed the driveway to give more interest to the building, removed the people, cabs and parking markers along the driveway and with a little landscaping help from the Century Plaza Hotel created my panorama.

I started out with 5 images (only uploaded 3 for example)

 Keep in mind the following rules....."using consistent settings"
1. Use manual focus and exposure, meter it for the brightest or most average spot in the scene. Not a requirement, but they'll help your finished product blend more evenly.

2. Use same focus center point by finding the feature or area you think would look good in the center and take steady aim. It'll help you align your pictures later and ensure you've got space to build on.

3. Shoot overlapping shots in order with 20-30 percent of the picture overlapping. Not only does it help you keep your shots organized, it counters the sometimes fuzzy or unfocused data many consumer cameras get at their exposure edges.

Start simple, with two, three, or four pictures, shot in horizontal or vertical order.


There are many free panorama stitching programs so "Google" for what fits your computer system and something easy to work with and you feel comfortable with. A few names are, PhotoStitch 3.1 software Canon has been giving away with their digital cameras for years. Panorama tools, a free program invented by a math professor. It can do amazing things, but you have to be a math professor to understand it. There are many many many more found on Ken Rockwell's website.
Just look around and see what works best for you and your computer. The software will have slightly different assembly instructions and if you follow along you will be just fine.

Commercial Interior, 8 Images stitched PS3, fire added in fireplace

Residential Exterior,10 Images stitched PS3, fire added in fireplace  

Marriott Lounge Bar, LA LIVE, Los Angeles, CA, 5 Images, photos added in TV's in post production

 Four Seasons Resort, Santa Barbara Biltmore, Tydes Restaurant, Overlooking Butterfly Beach


Hamilton Cove, Santa Catalina Island, CA, 1 exposure, panorama camera, Linhof Technorama

©2011 David Zanzinger, all rights reserved. Federal copyright law prohibits unauthorized reproduction by any means and imposes fines for violation. Call 310-980-5156 for assignments, licensing and more information. Thank you very much. david@zanzinger.com

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