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St Annes Pier Panorama

By WeeGeordieLass    
My first attempt at Panoramas..............

I shot 7 overlapping shots of St. Annes Pier. I had my camera on a tripod and panned the camera round on the tripod head. I set my camera to the self-timer hoping to keep the images sharp, I hope I achieved this as it was a windy day.

I used the clone tool in Elements 10 to replicate the sky and sand in the four corners of the stitched together image. There were also four white signs on the side of the pier which looked unsightly so I used the clone tool to get rid of them.

The light wasn't changing much when I was taking the shots and I think that has helped with exposure.

The pier looks curved and I'd be grateful if anyone could offer any advice on how to avoid this in future, either at the time when taking the shots or, afterwards in Elements.

Tags: Landscape and travel

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Jestertheclown 9 7.7k 252 England
8 Jan 2012 12:17AM

Quote:The pier looks curved

It does, doesn't it?

And unfortunately, I have absolutely no idea why or how to either avoid it happening in the first place or to get rid of it in processing.
I'm sure however, that someone more knowledgable than I, will come to your rescue!
On a more positive note, I've opened this in CS5 (whilst attempting to un-curve it!) and it looks to me, although I know nothing about panoramas, as if you've done a really good job of stitching this together so it's not all bad news!
Sorry I couldn't help.

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I like this shot!
May I ask...was your camera in one spot throughout ? or did you move parallel along the pier ?
8 Jan 2012 1:06PM
Hi all

Bren, thanks for having a look at my image in CS5, and trying to un-curve it. I think the errors I made when taking the shots have made it probably very, very difficult and maybe even impossible to straighten the pier. But, thanks for trying.

Elizabeth, as soon as I read your post I realised you had hit the nail on the head, and I had an "ah-ha" moment. My camera was on one spot throughout - it never entered my mind to actually walk parallel to the pier whilst taking the shots......dohhh!!


Quote:If you use the camera at a set point, the centre of the pier is closer to the camera than are the ends. Therefore the centre of the pier has to appear to be larger than the ends of it.

Thanks for your explanation - it has helped me to visualise in my minds eye what was happening to the perspective when I was panning my camera around. The group tips are great too and something for me to remember if I'm ever taking group shots in future.

Thanks all for solving my conundrum. Grin Smile Wink

I'm on the look out for good subjects to attempt for panoramic images in future, and feel I've got a greater chance of success now.

miptog 12 3.6k 61 United Kingdom
8 Jan 2012 3:10PM
This is probably one of the most difficult scenes to take a panaroma of as it has so many vertical and horizonal lines in the pier that can distort easily. Moving in parallel to the pier, will change the perspective in ecah shot. Its better, I belive, to shoot from a cental point. There are two main issues 1) As you move around the central point, you are rotating around the centre of the lens which si not the same as rotating around the plane of the camera, in which the imageis captured. You need a special panaoramic head for that. 2) The camera needs to be able to capture horizonal line, and for that a tllt shift lens is needed. Think of trying to take a photo of a sky-scraper. Just by moving the camera upwards, the vertical lines would start moving off vertical. A tilt-shift lens would correct this. One tip is to shoot panaromas in portrait prespective, as when stiching together you will have more in the top and botoom of the frame to play with. In most case, e.g. landsapes none of this would really matter as the distortion is acceptaable to the eye, its just that you have chosen an artitectural building to shoot.

Hope it helps.
8 Jan 2012 3:36PM
Thanks Michael,

Yes I get what you're saying, it seems easier for me to understand when, as you say, I think of the sky scraper scenario.

Next time I try this I'll shoot in portrait mode.

Can't wait to try capturing a panorama of a landscape - it's fascinating stuff!

Thanks for helping.


Jestertheclown 9 7.7k 252 England
8 Jan 2012 4:06PM
Since last night, I've had a read up about this and I think that Michael's right.
You need to stay in one place but rather than rotate the camera about the point where it's attached to the tripod, you need to rotate it around the plane of the last element in your lens.
And for that, as Michael says, you'll (I think) need a specialised head.
A good first attempt though and full marks for having a go! It's something I've never tried.
8 Jan 2012 6:31PM
Thanks for your help Bren Grin
paulbroad 10 123 1250 United Kingdom
8 Jan 2012 7:24PM
You cannot move your viewpoint for a panorama. The correct method is to use a proper panoramic mount which costs a fortune. That sets the point of rotation at the nodal point of your lens which then gives the correct perspective. Most of us do what you did!

Does it matter? This looks fine and is, as far as you can tell at this size, sharp. The effect is similar to a very wide angle lens which is what you are, in effect, emulating. I have one of a very curved viaduct in Whitby, which is actually flat.

What I am struggling with is your use of ISO400 and 1/1600 sec. ISO 200 and a lower shutter speed and smaller aperture will give extra depth of field and better quality. You really shouldn't need 1/1600 on a tripod.

8 Jan 2012 7:58PM
Hi Paul,

I forgot I had set my camera previously at ISO 400, if I had remembered I think I would have reset it to 200. I really must remember to consider the ISO before I start shooting next time.

I'm surprised at how sharp the image is a it was so windy that the camera straps were flapping like mad and the tripod was wobbling. I used aperture priority and chose F9 as I thought this would give me the DOF I wanted - the shutter speed was set automatically.

Thanks for your help.



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