Size Matters

While it may not be my best photo ever, this one has the distinction of occupying more disk space than any other. Comprised of 37 hand-held frames, shot with my cheapest lens due to it’s low distortion, and stitched together with the mind-blowing AutoPano Pro. The original is more than 24,000 pixels wide. The 16-bit image is just under 2 gigabytes in size. The image below links to a 6,000 pixel wide version. Get a 12,000 pixel-wide version here. (14 megabytes.)

What will I do differently next time? First, I’ll use a smaller aperture. If I had, the area behind Kelly and Ben (see her there?) would be in focus. Second, and quite surprisingly, I will not use a polarizer. The amount of filter’s effect changes with the rotational angle, so that the parts of the sky perpendicular to the rays of the sun are too dark, and the non-uniformity of the sky color in the resulting stitch is a pain to deal with. I think it looks weird, but I haven’t found a reasonable way to smooth that out without producing obviously manipulated results. Suggestions? I suppose could paste in some clouds, but that would be cheating — wouldn’t it?

By the way, if you’re at all interested in high-resolution panoramic imagery, check out this jaw-dropping 50 gigabyte image. I want to go to Vienna — now. Wow!


  • A.

    Oh my gosh! That is BREATHTAKING! Thanks for sharing!!!

  • AP

    You could try enfuse or enblend, I always forget which is which. I didn’t notice any out of focus areas but I definitely noticed some banding in the sky. I hear it can be caused by the stitching program, but I am not sure (I read also that the polarizer can be an issue, but I simply don’t believe that). I am not sure I get why low distortion is important in a picture without straight lines and stitching programs like Hugin can do also lens correction, if needed. Lightroom also does lens correction, I think you just take a shot of a grid and it will guess the right parameters. Panasonic 4/3rds cameras do in camera correction for their own lenses, both pincushion or barrel distortion and chromatic aberration — if you shoot raw, raw converters will perform the corrections. I am sure the 50mm Nikon has a lot of other qualities going for it though.

  • AP

    One link about the polarizer issue: This explains how to automatically get rid of vignetting. Vignetting is not the same effect as the one create by the polarizer, but with some parameter adjustment it might do the trick.

  • AP

    On further reading, I think my last note is just plain wrong. Let’s erase it from the internets before the google gets it. Vignetting depends on the lens and the distance from the center of the shot. Polarizer effect depends on the angle between the light hitting the camera and the sun, so it affects a panorama globally, not locally to each frame.

  • Jason

    what about a circular polarizer, so the orientation doesn’t matter. presonally, i think you should just rent a fotoman 6×17 🙂

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