360 night panorama of dead palm trees at Desert Center
These dead palm trees alongside Highway 10 in Desert Center were planted in 1990 by Stanley Ragsdale. He said he always wanted a “tree-ring circus.” Stanley died in 1999, and it’s amazing the trees are still standing after 14 years without being watered. Desert Magazine has an excellent story about Stanley’s father, who was known as Desert Steve Ragsdale. Desert Steve founded Desert Center in 1921. Use your mouse to have a look around the interactive version below — the button on the bottom right will take you full screen.
Technical Details: Canon EOS 60D with 8-15mm f/4L fisheye at 9mm. The optimal lens setting would have been 10mm but I bumped the lens ring. 6 shots around, 1 up, and 1 down. Each exposure was 60 seconds at f/8, ISO 800. I used a Really Right Stuff PG-02 pano head on a Nodal Ninja rotator.
Stitching the panorama was difficult due to the fast moving clouds. I used the masking feature in PTGui Pro to optimize the blend areas. The layered files were exported, and blended in Photoshop. The standard blending engine in PTGui doesn’t do a good job with sand and gravel. Using Photoshop or Smartblend to blend the images creates a crisper ground area. The interactive version was created in Pano2VR.
Digital Trends interviewed me on how to shoot 360 panoramas. These pano tips and techniques reflect the path I’ve taken with gear, calibration, and software.
Barcelona based photographer Toni Iglesias and I talk about night photography on Luces de la Noche. The interview is in Spanish and English.
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, the button on the bottom right will take you full screen:
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.
- Stitch and optimize the panorama using your regular workflow.
- Use the show seams view in the Panorama Editor to see where the power lines will join across images.
- Temporarily switch the Editor to rectilinear to view the power lines as straight as possible.
- Using the masks feature in PTGui Pro, adjust the join area to be across a straight section of the power lines.
- Open the control points tab and select the two images where the power lines will join.
- Under CP type on the bottom left, select new line (t3).
- 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.
- Optional: Add another set of t4 points along a different line. Add t5 points along yet another line, etc.
- 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
- Delete all of the new line control points. Optional: Save off a version of your PTGui project file first.
- 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.
- Uncheck the lens parameters for image 4 (the nadir), and turn on viewpoint optimization for this image.
- Switch to Optimize using: PTGui, and click Run Optimizer to put the nadir shot into place.
360 night panorama between the lifts at the abandoned ski resort
This virtual night tour of an abandoned ski resort in the Lake Tahoe area has four 360º panoramas. Use the button on the bottom right to go full screen, and enjoy exploring under the full moon.
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.