I love panoramic photography. Now, I can’t afford one of these very expensive panoramic cameras, so I’ve been creating “poor man’s pano’s” for years by stitching images together – sometimes manually and sometimes with the aid of software. Well, achieving perfect results is becoming a lot easier these days, thanks to a couple of break-through products. The first is AutoPano Pro. This marvelous piece of software creates the highest quality panoramas I’ve ever made. Incredibly, it’s also the easiest to use!
The image above was shot at last night’s Oakland A’s game. I used my D3 with my humble manual-focus 50mm Nikkor f1.4 lens. I manually exposed the images, and did my best to rotate the hand held camera and lens more-or-less around the nodal point while I shot 18 images – 6 columns, 3 rows. The alignment and overlap between the resulting images was far from perfect. Nevertheless I think the results speak for themselves. Even I can’t tell where the images are stitched together! To better appreciate the quality of the results, I strongly suggest you download a higher resolution version of the shot. (5 megabytes) When you examine this image for sharpness, bear in mind that what you’re looking at is one-quarter of the resolution of the full image, which is almost 19,000 pixels wide.
Another amazing product, mentioned here recently, is the GigaPan robotic camera mount. Yesterday, I learned that my begging has paid off – I have been selected to participate in the beta program, (yay!) and should be receiving my very own GigaPan head in a few days. What I’m very interested in learning is whether an 18-30 image pano shot with my D3 will look better in some way than a 100 or even 220 image panorama produced with the GigaPan head and Canon G7.
Oh – and The A’s beat the Chicago White Sox, 6 to 4.