Welcome to the Village and a general announcement

Hey all, as the concert season is on a summer break, festivals are popping up everywhere and it’s great to see so many new festivals with a fresh take on the concept. The next two days I’ll be at the Welcome to the Village festival near Leeuwarden and I’m very much looking forward to that.

Continue reading Welcome to the Village and a general announcement

Panoramic testing in Fochteloo

Yesterday in the sun I decided to try some new panoramic shots. I know how the system works now and how to create a movie file that you can scroll around in, but I’m still working on getting the right kind of top and bottom shots. By tilting the camera upwards the sky/top is easily fixed, but the bottomshots remain a bit of a problem though (that is: if you don’t want the tripod included).

For the new panoramas I went to a nature park near Fochteloo. Unfortunately I spent most of the time being completely and utterly lost, so didn’t take too many pictures, but will try again when the weathers nice again.

As for the panorama shots, there are two of them, both with tops in order. One of a lookout and one taken in the woods. You’ll need Quicktime to view these images. The one in the woods was a bit of a struggle what with the sun appearing and disappearing constantly and my having forgotten the remote. Also you’ll probably notice a small glitch in one of the trees. I wasn’t able (yet) to repair that.

As said, the bottomshots are still a bit of an issue, but I’ll work on those as well and hope to have a full panoramic photo soon. As for the other photos that I took; those weren’t too interesting to actually post, but they did give me an opportunity to try working in Lightroom and that worked pretty well. Don’t see much use for it in concert photography, but for sports and nature with practice it could be a great tool, making the post editing a whole lot quicker.

Panorama photos of Assen

I recently posted a blog on my new Nodal Ninja 3 panorama head for my camera gear. However, I hadn’t really found the time to test the device. For those that thought (like me a while ago) that it was mearly a matter of installing the head, hooking up the camera and shoot… well it’s not really like that. Not at all. You need to do some work first to get the right shots.

In the past week I read reviews and tutorials, learned about the Nodal point (you set up the panorama head so the lens is rotating around it’s nodal point, this assures seamless stitching of photos) and fount the nodal point for a few of my lenses. I first tried a set of my livingroom and then went in search for the right software. This wasn’t that either. TheCanon Photostich program turned out not to work in Apple Snow Leopard, the freeware software Hugin made photos that looked like they were thought up by Esher of H.R. Giger and not like a panorama at all. Also the Photomerge option of Photoshop didn’t work at all, it could not make any decent panorama of the supplied photos. Eventually I found PTGui and that’s just incredible.

So now that I had a working setup and the means to produce a panorama, it was time to take the kit outside. I first did a simple walk just outside of Assen and tried a few with my 15mm fisheye and also one with my 50mm lens (different Nodal point, but I remembered what it was). However, I also wanted to try a few with buildings, so I headed to the center of Assen and shot some over there.

The way it works is really simple. Setup the tripod, make sure it’s level and shoot the photos all the way round. I shot 18 (at 20 degrees intervals) per photo. Back home I fed the photos into PTGui and that turned them into lovely panoramas. Here are a few that I uploaded to Flickr (check them there for large views):

[flickr]tag:KJGuch+pano1402@Klaas / KJGuch.com[/flickr]

There are a few afterthoughts… I really need another tripod. My Manfrotto 055 is a great tripod, but way to heavy and large to easily carry around. Also a remote trigger would be better to make sure I don’t shake the camera when taking the photos. oh… and I had just thought that a macro lens in combination with a panorama head when I found the settings for the 100mm Canon macro lens with the Nodal Ninja set. So don’t be surprised if that lens is added to my collection at some point this year ;) All in all I’m very happy that the Nodal Ninja 3 works so well and I can’t wait for the summer to come and to find some wonderful locations to make more panoramas.