Friday, February 21, 2014

Photomerge Frustration - or getting SUCCESSFUL panoramas

It's been a while (a LONG while) but when you are motivated to blog, you are motivated.

So today I am motiviated

I am a fan of merging photos to make panoramas.

But sometimes they just don't seem to work.  If you want to find the answer, we will get to it (couldn't find the answer on the web - sometimes Google does NOT have the answer, but don't tell them that).

Above is an example of my latest frustration.  Admittedly with Photoshop CC, this is a rare occurence.  The quality of the program and its capability are generally spot on.  Where I get issues has been largely the photographer's fault (me) because I have not switched the camera to manual exposure and focus or been lazy and not got the overlap right (in a rush).
In this example, I got all the in-camera stuff right.  That is actually manual exposure and manual focus.  All the things were right, but what went wrong???

I immediately thought, maybe my pre-Photoshop fun in Lightroom may have driven the outcome.  So back into Lightroom I went, returned all the settings to out-of-camera.

NOPE.  Still not working

Next option.  Thinking maybe I have too much information?  Overlap is recommended (40-50%) but it could be confusing Photoshop.  So I went back into Lightroom and cropped a few of the images width wise so the overlap was not as significant.

NOPE.  Still not working

Finally, I tried taking out 1 or 2 out of the full panorama, ensuring that there was still some 10-30% overlap and HEY PRESTO:

So, if you are frustrated, maybe you have done the job too well.  I know I will be going back to some panoramas with this different approach.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Photowalk preparation

Another photowalk - hooray!
Yes, I got in early enough to host another photwalk. This year I will be co-running the one in Perth with Ric one of the most interested applicants I have met.
It will be another great day.
If you are worried you don't have the latest gear - that is more than ok! The only things you need are:
- walking shoes/gear
- camera (any will do)
- a desire to take pictures

That is seriously it! The benefits are great - to all levels of photographer - as we all get challenged by what and how one another are taking photos. I highly recommend it as a great way to get your photography revived.
If you have a few peices of gear to choose from, I would go with an all purpose lens (perhaps two at most) and a small tripod or monopod. Keep it flexible and light.
Anyway, better sign off - catching a plane soon.
Cheers - Mark

Thursday, June 04, 2009

AHH - only one post this year!

Can't believe it!

Yet again months have flown by without a post.

Update - now living in Perth (when not flying for work) and about to organise another photowalk.

Anyone reading this - get yourself on a photowalk, no excuses! They are great - and don't think you need the greatest camera gear. Even the best pros seem to admit that it is more about understanding what you have and getting out there than how many toys you have.

For me, 1 lens (maybe 2?), a monopod/tripod and a flash is about all you need. The more mobile the better. A p+s (point and shoot) is good too. Last year some of the best pictures came from the p+s's - mainly because they didn't get hung up by the technical and just looked around more for photos.

As a keen amateur, this is what I love most about photowalks. Everyone has such a different perspective and different gear that we are all trying to learn what one another is doing - almost like a fast food style camera club - AND I WANT TO DRIVE THROUGH AGAIN!

Better sign off - still at work and have some stuff to do. Before I go, here is the link to the photowalk site - sign up today and get ready for some great photography fun!

Friday, February 06, 2009

New year, new post

I was looking at my list of blogs in Google Reader and realised that I have not posted to my own blog in some time! But with a new year comes new (delayed) resolutions, and I need to keep up at least a few posts.

Woops, it's February already! Oh well. With the new year and my birthday I got some new drive for photography. Latest addition is Scott Kelby's 2 volumes on taking photos. Well worth it and has been a little bit of an encouragement to get back out there.

Also, if you want to start this year with a better picture print out, I can recommend getting a monitor calibration tool such as the xrite i1 or Huey Pro. I am selling mine on Ebay (see here) if you don't mind my plug!

On a good note, I can share my method for getting the picture. The setup is relatively simple.

First get yourself a good small 60cm cube light tent
Setup your tripod + camera
Setup your flash

This picture was taken with these settings: lens at 17mm, ISO100, f14, 1/200 sec, flash compensation +1

I did experiment a bit to get here and did minor white balance adjustment in photoshop raw.

The light tent is really a light diffuser and background all in one. You probably could get away with a clean background and, say, a Stofen diffuser or a diffuser typically part of most flashes (at least the 430EX and 580EX). Before I got the light box, I used to line an old box with white paper and take pictures in that. The trick to avoiding having visible lines is to make sure you have enought light - don't hold back as it's not like taking pictures of people!

Must sign off now and check how my selling is going - it will go towards maybe Lightroom 2.0 or the BH-55 RRS tripod head. Which one....? Maybe I will make it a poll?

Anyway, have a great time in the photography fray and hope your new year is filled with all kinds of new enthusiasm (and cool gear!).

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

As promised

I am back!

Thought I would get back into it by referring to this great method for getting that grunge look in portraits.

See here for how it is done. Scott Kelby was mentioned several times by Chritian Fletcher and I feel good for finding out more about Scott and knowing that even the great photographers are out there learning from guys like Scott.

I was going to post a picture of Christian but thought I should get his permission first (that is the right and legal thing to do after all).

So I will post my application of Scott's grunge look another time.

In the mean time, here is a nice picture I took while in Perth. You don't have to like it but leave a comment/criticism! It is one thing that I took away from Christian's course, sometimes us photographers like things that might not ever sell - do you think this one might? High art or wishful thinking :) ?

Have fun in the photography fray - until next time.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Like all things, it is nice to be re-invigorated occassionally.

I found the opportunity to get an extra dose of enthusiasm by going to a workflow workshop by Christian Fletcher ( For those that don't know of him, he turns up first when you do a google search so that shows that you probably should know him! (or perhaps the guy that improves his exposure on search engines!).

I thought I would quickly write a comment on his workshop and encourage anyone interested in re-invigoration of their photography hobby to get to one. He is both easy going and informative. I will follow up more (and with a few concepts) in the next posting!

Maybe with a little encouragement from other photographers we can get out there more often and do something new.