Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Braehead 360 – just for fun

Since I’d been having some reasonable success with stitching images together to catch some local building facades (where it wasn’t possible to stand far enough back to catch them in a single shot, or without a ridiculously wide/expensive lens), I thought I’d have a bit of fun with some shots I’d taken along the River Clyde, at Braehead.

I wasn’t sure if I had enough to try this, and the result suggests I was one short, but it did almost work, and gave me some clues for the future, if I try it again, more seriously.

There’s one disjoint in the middle of the final view.

And it seems that while the wide shots can be handheld, going for a full 360 really needs the camera on a tripod, to make sure it stays perfectly level as it is rotated – but then again, for free, I’m not complaining.

I did make sure it was level, but clearly didn’t quite manage to keep the horizon line properly centred, so it’s a bit wavy.

I’d probably also avoid the full 360 if I try this trick again, and limit things to less than full rotation. The gap would then let me decide where the view starts and finishes. In the view below, the software decided the best/worst edge matches, and has no option for setting a start/finish – which is no surprise since it’s not designed to do 360s. I was just playing with it to see what it would do. It could have refused to work, as it sometimes does if don’t take pics correctly and the edges can’t be matched.

I might give this another go at some time.

I’d put the deliberate break in the middle of the sequence, so the panorama was centred on the river, rather than the shopping centre.

Click for bigger.

Braehead Clyde Stitch

Braehead Clyde Stitch

Oops – oh silly me…

I don’t have to go back, just leave out the offending disjointed image from the original set!

In fact, I actually ended leaving out TWO of the original images.

Leaving out the disjointed one (with the right-hand part of the seating) forced the desired river panorama, but then I found that dropping the adjacent image with the left part of the seating had the desirable side-effect of levelling out the previously wonky finished view (so it must have been out of line).

Also, things like that handrail have to be placed to appear in full in only ONE shot, and not across two. Being so close to the camera shooting wide angle shots mean they vary wildly in size when seen close, large in the centre, but then smaller when they are off-centre. See the difference between the handrail section on the left of the pic, compared to that seen on the right.

This view is also a reminder to set MANUAL exposure for such a series of shots, to avoid the vertical banding evident in these finished views – but it was only a test.

Click for bigger.

Braehead Clyde Stitch Two

Braehead Clyde Stitch Two

05/05/2019 Posted by | photography | , , | Leave a comment

Cambuslang Lodge pic in a narrow street

That went surprisingly well.

I’ve looked at a lodge building in a Cambuslang side street – Tabernacle Lane – and wondered how to take a pic.

It’s a narrow street. Two cars could pass without a fight, although there’s only room for one since the street usually has them parked along one side, leaving the other side as a single lane for access either way. As a pure guess, that mean only about 5 metres from the façade of the building until your back hits the opposite wall.

A 24 mm lens captures some, but this is most it can see, in a single shot.

Cambuslang Lodge Wide

Cambuslang Lodge Wide

Time for some magic, and a test to see how good it might be.

By taking a number of pics across the façade, these can be stitched together to form a view of the whole.

I got quite close, but I’m still finding it difficult to guess how much extra I need to include around the edges, to avoid missing any coverage, and the resultant black areas. In this case, I was just a little short of material in the bottom left and right corners.

Cambuslang Lodge Stitched

Cambuslang Lodge Stitched

On the other hand, I DID get the whole façade, the missing parts are outside the desired area.

And it’s considerably better than was achieved with a single wide-angle shot.

Unlike most panoramas, which usually only combine images horizontally, I can also do this vertically, and for any number of images, but found the less I use, the better. The single wide shown first is actually one of the shots merged into the stitched view.

Just my luck as usual – as I was leaving, a woman arrived and removed the car blocking the view of centre bottom of the building.

01/06/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Changeable weather – but Glasgow Green was nice a few days ago

While I’m not the world’s greatest fan of panorama shots (or anything other than a good plain reasonably honest photograph), there are occasions when a wider view (devoid of any gimmicks) can still be appreciated.

Standing near Nelson’s thingy, I thought the view looked decent enough to chance grabbing a series of shots, just to see how they might come out when stitched together for a… panorama!

The result turned out to be quite pleasing, and takes you from the old fish market, or Briggait (obscured by flats, but you can see the clock tower), all the way to Templeton’s.

And I spotted enough mistakes in it to have benefited from the exercise too.

While I had enough shots to fix it, I also learned something to watch for at the planning stage – don’t do this when a cyclist is hurrying across the view, unless you want to have twins or triplets in view.

As this is a little bit wide, you’ll have to click on the thumbnail for the full size view.

Glasgow Green Pano

Glasgow Green Pano

15/12/2017 Posted by | photography | , , | Leave a comment

Kelvingrove – the wide view

I’ve been meaning to get this shot together for ages, but just never found the time.

It’s not that it could take a lot of time to create, but more that I hadn’t tried one as big or wide as this before, as it was intended to capture almost 180° horizontally and vertically. While it would have been nice to also have a flattened view, I can only afford free software, so can only combine pics taken from a point. I did try to trick the software once, by taking flat shots across a subject, but it just laughed at me, and could not work out how to find and match the edges of the images to be stitched together.

This eventually came out reasonably well, being a combination of almost 50 images, each being more than 10 MB.

I’m not sure how the top came to be so far off centre – I thought I was standing on the centreline (guess not).

There’s ghosting of people since the place was busy, and although this reduced size version of the full stitch doesn’t show it, I really had too much overlap between each image. With fewer images, I usually can’t see the join or any overlap effects. With lots of overlap, the software probably can’t combine the areas without leaving at least some evidence.

It’s funny, as I’ve done the same with views of the Winter Gardens at the People’s Palace, where a fairly ordinary wide-angle lens can catch enough of the view from the balcony to make the effort of stitching multiple images more or less pointless.

But pointing the same lens at this view inside Kelvingrove?

Almost not worth the effort… unless you stand back and frame the view through pillars. But then you’re not going to get the full side-to-side and floor to ceiling view, like this:

Kelvingrove Pano Stitch

Kelvingrove Pano Stitch

Looking at this final effort, I noticed that it demonstrates one of the seldom mentioned advantages of digital over film.

This image shows an exposure range I (as a poor amateur) would never have been able to capture or show using film, as it shows detail in the shadowy dark end of the view, where the organ can be seen, while still showing bright detail in the illuminated lights, and the individual glazing frames within the upper windows, which had the bright sky behind.

And this is without any deliberate post-processing to enhance selected detail.

01/09/2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | 4 Comments


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