Las Vegas Neon Museum 360 Night Panorama

Ernie's - a 360 degree night panorama of the Las Vegas Neon Museum

During last week’s IVRPA conference in Las Vegas, I arranged an after hours photo tour at the Neon Musem. The museum runs 1 hour guided tours during the day and evening, but no tripods or monopods are allowed. About once a month they have a night shoot that allows tripods. Big thanks to the talented photographer eyetwist, who gave me the lowdown, and to Erin at the museum for the hospitality. We had 7 photographers and 2 videographers in our group, which maxed out the small museum space.

As we only had 1 hour in the boneyard, I shot my 360 panos at 4 shots around, using a Canon EOS 6D with the 8-15mm fisheye lens at 12mm. This sacrifices some resolution for speed, producing images that are just over 10,000×5,000 (50 megapixels). I shot a 3 image bracket at each camera position, with exposures of +/- 1.5 stops.

Many of the amazing old neon signs were lit with bright LED lighting that scrolls through different colors every few seconds. I knew this was going to make both shooting HDR and blending the panoramas a challenge.  Surprisingly, Photomatix Fusion didn’t have any problems blending the bracketed images, even though the color and intensity sometimes changed between exposures.

Next, I imported the images into PTGui Pro. Here’s how the pano looked after stitching, but before blending across images.

Las Vegas Neon Museum 360 Degree Night Panorama - Unblended

Las Vegas Neon Museum 360 Degree Night Panorama – Unblended

I tested PTGui, Smartblend, and Photoshop, and the PTGUI blender did the best job feathering the different colored lighting. Adjusting the masking in PTGui helped fine tune the transition areas.

Once I was happy with the results, I used Pano2VR Pro to create the interactive panorama. This pano is my first test using the new HTML5 multiresolution feature. As time permits, I will add a few more panoramas from the Neon Museum and create a virtual tour.

6 thoughts on “Las Vegas Neon Museum 360 Night Panorama”

    1. Now now, Uncle Troy. I know everything was crustier when you shot it 10+ years ago. If someone hadn’t taken care of the signs, who knows what would’ve happened.

  1. Joe, thanks for arranging this shoot. It was awesome to connect with others in the community including yourself. Plus, knowing how challenging the lighting conditions were this panorama is friggin’ awesome!

Leave a Reply