Muffler Man HDR 360 Pole Panorama

Muffler Man HDR 360 Pole Panorama - Little Planet view

Muffler Man HDR 360 Pole Panorama – Little Planet view

Up in California’s Gold Country, the former site of Sierra Equipment is now the Community Hope Thrift Store – and they still have the impressive muffler man! This 360 panorama was shot using a Nodal Ninja carbon fiber pole with an R1 pano head. A three shot bracket was taken at each camera position. I used a natural looking fusion setting in Photomatix to blend the exposures, PTGui to stitch the pano, Photoshop for image enhancement, and Pano2VR for output.

Take a look around in the interactive version below:

Stitching power lines in 360 panoramas using PTGui Pro

Special thanks to 360 pano expert John Houghton for his advice on how to get the power lines to stitch together.

  1. Stitch and optimize the panorama using your regular workflow.
  2. Use the show seams view in the Panorama Editor to see where the power lines will join across images.
  3. Temporarily switch the Editor to rectilinear to view the power lines as straight as possible.
  4. Using the masks feature in PTGui Pro, adjust the join area to be across a straight section of the power lines.
  5. Open the control points tab and select the two images where the power lines will join.
  6. Under CP type on the bottom left, select new line (t3).
  7. Add t3 points on the same power line, on each side of where they join across images. You can add multiple t3 points to define the line.
  8. Optional: Add another set of t4 points along a different line. Add t5 points along yet another line, etc.
  9. Go to the Optimizer tab, and select Optimize using: Panorama Tools in the bottom left, and then click Run Optimizer.

Hopefully your power lines will now stitch correctly. You may need to use Puppet Warp and the clone stamp in Photoshop to make things perfect.

If you’re using viewpoint optimization to add a nadir to your panorama

  1. Delete all of the new line control points. Optional: Save off a version of your PTGui project file first.
  2. The muffler man pano was 4 around + 1 down. On the Optimization tab, I unchecked all of the optimization parameters for images 0-3, so as not to disturb the alignment in the next step.
  3. Uncheck the lens parameters for image 4 (the nadir), and turn on viewpoint optimization for this image.
  4. Switch to Optimize using: PTGui, and click Run Optimizer to put the nadir shot into place.

Abandoned ski resort 360 night panorama: Breaking the star trail barrier

Abandoned ski resort 360 night panorama

Abandoned ski resort 360 night panorama — by Joe Reifer

During the supermoon I photographed an abandoned ski resort in the Lake Tahoe area. While we were scouting the location, photographer David Dasinger mentioned that he’d seen a 360 pano with reasonably long star trails. The full moon 360 night panos I’ve been shooting have typically been four exposures of 90 seconds, in order to keep the stars and shadows aligned when stitching. As an experiment, I shot a 360 night pano with four 6-minute exposures. The longer star trails stitched perfectly in PTGui. The ground required a little bit of extra retouching because the tree shadows moved during the long exposures. Other than that, I’m excited to report that it IS possible to have longer star trails in a 360 panorama.

Use the button on the bottom right to go full screen, and you’ll see the stars circle around Polaris over the wood house. The star trails are diagonal to the east and west, and almost horizontal to the south. Zoom in just to the right of the supermoon, and you’ll see our tents in the trees. More photos from this location soon.

Update 7/7/2013: Three additional panoramas have been added to create a virtual tour.

Abandoned Drive-In Theater 360 Night Panorama

Abandoned Drive-In Theater 360 Panorama -- by Joe Reifer

A full moon 360 panorama of an abandoned drive-in theater in the Nevada desert.

Stand under the screen and under the stars at the abandoned Sage Crest Drive-in theater in Yerington, Nevada. Use your mouse to navigate the interactive 360 below — the button on the bottom right will take you full screen. How many constellations can you identify? Also look for the bird who lives under the movie screen.

Technical details: Four shots around with a Canon 8-15mm fisheye lens at 12mm on an EOS 6D. Each exposure was 90 seconds at f/8, ISO 800. A fifth shot was taken to patch the tripod area and shadow. Really Right Stuff PG-02 panohead on a customized Nodal Ninja rotator and leveling base. Processed in Lightroom and Photoshop, stitched in PTGui Pro, and output using Pano2VR Pro.

Full Moon 360 Panorama: The Stonehenge of Western Nevada


A full moon shines over the Stonehenge of Western Nevada. The Thompson Smelter processed copper ore, and operated on-and-off between 1912-1929. Also known as the Wabuska Smelter, these stone mining ruins are just north of Yerington, Nevada. Use your mouse to navigate the interactive panorama below.