Panoramic Westmoreland

For some reason I’ve never gotten around to doing stitched-together panoramic photos until recently. Today, with spring fever raging, I hopped on my bicycle, did one of my favorite circuits, and made this 360 view of Park Hill in Westmoreland:

It turned out to be an interesting study in perception. If you check the enlarged view, you’ll see a tiny, insignificant-looking church in the center of the spread, dwarfed by mailboxes in the foreground. In my memory of the scene, that church was the dominant feature. But what my eyes actually saw is what the camera saw: a tiny, insignificant-looking church.

Next time I’ll need to stand closer to it. And I’ll need to bear in mind that what we think we see is a heavily interpreted version of what hits the retinas.

Still, it was fun. I love that you can see the handlebars of my bicycle on the left, and the seat on the right.

I’m sure there lots of ways to do this, I’ve never really looked into it, but Windows Live Photo Gallery makes the whole thing a snap. From camera import, to photo stitching, to Flickr upload, was under 10 minutes. And most of that was CPU time.

8 Comments

  1. What version of Windows Live Photo Gallery did you use? I downloaded vers. 2008 12.0.1329.201. No luck. Make/Create Panoramic Photo is greyed out and does nothing when I click on it. Also, help/search on “panoram” gives nothing. Do I need to update?

  2. You might want to try your camera on a longer zoom… The wider the angle (i.e. the shorter the zoom), the greater the emphasis given to objects in the foreground – which might be why the church appears so small. A longer zoom should also mean less distortion at the edges, meaning your photos should fit together better.

  3. “Make/Create Panoramic Photo is greyed out and does nothing when I click on it”

    Your version is newer than mine. I think you just need to select a batch of photos first. It’s noun->verb, not verb->noun.

  4. > You might want to try your camera on a
    > longer zoom…

    Well, I’m going to repeat the experiment so I can try that. But you wouldn’t try to vary it while panning around, would you? You’d still want to be closest to the object that you want to appear dominant.

  5. > The wider the angle (i.e. the shorter the
    > zoom), the greater the emphasis given to
    > objects in the foreground

    Nope. Perspective is dependent only on your position.

    This seems wrong to most people, but try it. Take your zoom-equipped camera, and take two photos at short and long focal lengths. Now crop the wide one down to cover the same area as the long one. You’ll find that the perspective has not changed.

    There are a couple of reasons why I think this seems wrong to some. 1) If you were to use a longer lens, some nearby objects like those mailboxes would simply be cropped out of the frame. 2) If you’re trying to get a near and far object with a long lens, you’ll be forced to move farther away from the near object, or the reverse: if you’re using a wide lens, you’ll be able to get much closer and still keep the near object in the frame. Either way, it’s your feet that changed the perspective, not your lens.

  6. I made panorama from 4 photos showing my street. Neat! I didn’t realize that panorama tripods are made to sweep both horizonal and vertical. I assume WLPG only does horizontal. Search on “camera tripod panorama”.

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