<<< o >>>caught in the middle 36 comments + add yours

I've been meaning to try a panoramic shot for ages and am reasonably pleased with how this has turned out. It was created from seven originals taken at 17mm, using Stitcher. This does a much better job than Photoshop's 'photomerge' function, which is ok for shots with no distortion, but doesn't do a great job with wide angle shots; i.e. there's too much distortion.

Anyway, I'm not entirely convinced that I got the composition right – I probably should have shot the sequence in portrait rather than landscape format, and I think it needs a bit more space on the right – but other than that I think it's probably ok. Let me know what you think.

Oh, and if you're interested, there's a larger version of this image here:


piers [St. Annes] + fylde coast [scenic] + non standard + panoramas
comment by Ash at 11:10 PM (GMT) on 30 June, 2007

I like it. I had no idea that pier had two of those weird things at the ends. At first I thought it was a mirror image that wasn't quite right :)

comment by djn1 at 11:15 PM (GMT) on 30 June, 2007

Ash: this shot will give you a better idea about this pier.

comment by nferreira at 11:23 PM (GMT) on 30 June, 2007

I also have the idea of making some panoramas for quite some time, but never manage to get the time to do it. I see that Stitcher can give a good help. :-)

And you're right. The right side needs a little more space, but it's a good final result anyway.

comment by paul at 11:49 PM (GMT) on 30 June, 2007

looks a longer walk from end to end than it actually is. A different perspective of a superb location.

comment by miChou at 11:58 PM (GMT) on 30 June, 2007

I too could have sworn it's mirrored in the middle. But mirrored or not, i really like (ok, maybe a little more space at the right could haev been better :D)

comment by Mo Hashim at 01:35 AM (GMT) on 1 July, 2007

nicely done. I love how a straight pier can be made to look like such. And actually I like the way it is just fine...no need for room on the right. The lack of room on the right just tells me that posts have been broken or worn off from the left.

comment by redge at 04:05 AM (GMT) on 1 July, 2007

I think this is a great shot and a creative one. A panorama shot that has a straight horizon while the subject is so bent is something I haven't seen before. This is fine art.

comment by Lightseeker at 08:31 AM (GMT) on 1 July, 2007

Interesting shot. I think you're right about using the vertical format to take more shots before stitching. It's always difficult to stitch very wide angle shots and you've done an excellent job with the 17mm.

comment by josef at 08:32 AM (GMT) on 1 July, 2007

Very nice. I'm trying out Stitcher now thanks to you. :)

comment by mnemospection photographie noir et blanc at 10:31 AM (GMT) on 1 July, 2007

beautiful panormaic shot : very dynamic and well composed


comment by milou at 11:52 AM (GMT) on 1 July, 2007

Big and bold, with lovely muted tones.

comment by Keith De-Lin at 01:08 PM (GMT) on 1 July, 2007

Cool Shot

comment by Ronald at 01:19 PM (GMT) on 1 July, 2007

David, you are right concerning the space on the right...
The photograph is not fully balanced as is...
Otherwise the shot is quit interresting an keeps me wopndering how you mamaged the shots...
Obviously the riht side is not the same as the left side, although the little towers are the same...
Intrigueing shot!

comment by Osiriums Ventaka at 06:25 PM (GMT) on 1 July, 2007

Very good composition!

comment by Gavin at 10:43 PM (GMT) on 1 July, 2007

I think this is an outstanding shot. The stitching is flawless and the colours are superb. I 'm just wondering about the right tower in the large version, in between each part the highlights are quite bright, did you forget to brush these parts?

comment by ROB at 02:35 AM (GMT) on 2 July, 2007

As with others I thought it was a mirror but the more I looked the more I wondered. Great stitch and I agree about the software its almost flawless result you have here.

comment by randomPerson at 05:00 AM (GMT) on 2 July, 2007

Totally unrelated but somehow it reminded me of this technique http://www.faculty.idc.ac.il/arik/IMRet-All.mov


comment by Regis at 10:56 AM (GMT) on 2 July, 2007

Really cool panoramic shot !

comment by si at 03:15 PM (GMT) on 2 July, 2007

i was born in london, now living in san diego and i've never been to blackpool. the thing that strikes me is how endless and flat that beach is. we have nothing like that in california. beaches that large here have dunes. it must be a long walk to get to the water.

again, love the colors. the larger version shows a spot in the sky right in the middle of the photo. it's not enough to detract from the great shot though.

comment by jelb at 04:49 PM (GMT) on 2 July, 2007

Well done..Nice symmetry...Bravo!

comment by Dylan Tucker at 01:25 AM (GMT) on 3 July, 2007

Cool Shot. It took me a second to figure out what was going on in the photo at first glance. I like the perspective

comment by navin at 06:24 AM (GMT) on 3 July, 2007

Nice crop

comment by birgit at 06:00 PM (GMT) on 3 July, 2007

awesome! maybe you are right, with needing more space at the right :) but it does not decrease the cool effect it has on me.

comment by Rohit Mohan at 06:59 AM (GMT) on 4 July, 2007

Just curious, how large was the file in pixel-width after you were done stitching them.

comment by Thomas Solberg / Project neXus at 09:07 AM (GMT) on 4 July, 2007

It looks good. Am used to panoramic shots, and it nice to see some I didn't make myself :-)

comment by Alison Grippo at 04:10 AM (GMT) on 5 July, 2007

it's a great stitch with virtually no distortion, a tilt and shift lens can help with creating these f you're looking to try and capture spaces. canon make a nice 24mm one.

comment by Laura at 03:34 PM (GMT) on 5 July, 2007

Great great panorama! I love it.

comment by Ariel at 11:15 AM (GMT) on 6 July, 2007

Wow, that looks so cool as a pano!

comment by Wolfgang Burzler at 06:12 PM (GMT) on 6 July, 2007

Beautiful composition.

comment by Photo Buffet at 08:31 PM (GMT) on 6 July, 2007

"Reasonably pleased"? This is SPECTACULAR. I'm so glad I visited today. Your photography is nothing short of amazing,

comment by djn1 at 10:14 PM (GMT) on 6 July, 2007

Thanks all :-)

josef: let me know how you get on.

Gavin: the highlights are a bit off in the large version, but this was more to do with slightly oversharpening than anything else.

Rohit: it was around 10,000 by 2,200.

Alison: yes, at some point I'd like to get a T/S lens, though I think I'd be tempted to go for the 90mm rather than the 24mm as it gets much better reviews.

comment by ThadM at 05:40 PM (GMT) on 12 July, 2007

I rarely comment online but I feel compelled here due to the number of comments concerning the side spacing. I think it could be seen as either a composition or cropping issue. But, I'd like to point out that although several of the previous comments said that the balance (or symmetry, I suppose) required a bit more space on the right, the tower on the right is actually farther from the picture's edge than the tower on the left. So while more space on the right would serve to balance the amount of beach space along the edges, it would further take away from the towers' symmetry. The question this leads me to is one of perspective. How much does the camera's point of rotation move from shot to shot as you initially captured the images? Possible suspects in the matter: you didn't use a tripod (which I seriously doubt based on the supreme quality of all your imagery prior), you moved the tripod back closer to the pier's edge sometime before capturing the last frame (again, seriously doubtful), the tripod head doesn't place the tripod lug precisely over the middle of its center column so the camera ends up closer to the pier's edge in the left end image than in the right end image, or the camera's tripod socket is not placed precisely in alignment with the center of the lens and center of the sensor (I'd be really surprised if that were the case with one of your Canons but of course Leica did it for decades, so...). This alignment issue might be confirmed by the difference in angles of the edge of the metal grate. Your camera was positioned almost perfectly over its edge in the left-most frame (hence, it's almost perfectly vertical) then slightly to the left of that line in the right-most frame (hence, the angle being slightly less vertical). I'm not even going to begin thinking about the pixel stretching that's done when even the best of the stitching programs is employed, but I think it's of minor influence here.

Yet, these are all issues of "perfection." It's a virtue that is rarely necessary, and often distracting, to the purposes of art. Expression of ideas and inspiration that leads to contemplation are far more important. I can clearly see isolation here and loss of obvious usefulness. And that's a lot to contemplate. I know how it feels but the pier needn't lose hope. Soon global warming will be its rescue! Right?

Love the "nearness" of symmetry, attention to the bottom corners matching ( again symmetry issue), great exposure, and especially placing the camera below the tops of the posts so they rise above the horizon. I like the post on the right as a frame as well as the negative space on the left when I "miss" the other post (the real power of asymmetry in an image). Perfection of perspective is not necessary to convey this. Awesome work in every image on your site. I think your approach to portraiture is my favorite aspect of your photography (you really know who you are there), though I find myself staring longer into your abstracts and landscapes. Thanks for sharing the lives of you and your family.

Incidentally, I'd be perplexed if a T/S lens would be of any additional use here. All of the stitching programs I've seen assume you are starting with images made from normal rectilinear lenses. Most of them address the issue wide angle distortion as they stitch. Your setting of the horizon line tells it how much tilt it may need to correct for. Try stitching two shots of a building together with the camera tilted up somewhat. It MUST address the issue or it will yield weird, unnatural blends in the middle where windows, posts, etc. seem to lean at opposing angles. T/S lenses are a must for single-shot architectural work but might change enough angles through perspective adjustments to cause stitch software to bend and stretch pixels more (resolution loss) or fail to stitch properly(edges not meeting at the same angle or tilting angles too far in its attempt to correct this very distortion). I suppose using the tilt feature of the lens might be okay because it has less effect on perspective as it effectively just tilts the plane of focus with less alteration of perspective. But I'd be interested to see what would happen when shift is used. I would definitely tell the stitcher to keep the horizon dead center regardless of whether that's where it really is in the image.

comment by Alex Ramon at 01:34 AM (GMT) on 20 July, 2007

I'm in love with this photo... very creative and thoughtful, it reminds me of a 'Mad Max' movie. Cool!

comment by Veerasundar at 07:19 PM (GMT) on 21 July, 2007

Great panoramic shot... Cheers. :D

comment by Philippe Roy at 03:26 AM (GMT) on 4 August, 2007

Really awesome shot and use of stitcher. I'd be curious to see the seven originals.

In the mean time, you really do keep me coming back, not only because of your use of colours in post production but also because of these amazing locations you find. I'm jealous!

comment by Xavier Boes at 09:19 PM (GMT) on 21 August, 2007

very nice panoramic and framing!