Panoramic Photography

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Panoramic Photography

Postby dwgrussell » Dec 20, 2010 9:18 am

I am panoramic photographer and have been thinking for a while about doing some work underground.

Can anyone suggest any particularly large or impressive caverns that would lend themselves to a 360 degree photograph?

Thanks for your help,

Duncan
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Re: Panoramic Photography

Postby Phil Winkler » Dec 20, 2010 9:31 am

Welcome to the forum. There are several caves that would fit that description. Where are you located, tho? You could contact a local grotto (chapter) of the NSS to introduce yourself to the local cavers who could assist you.
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Re: Panoramic Photography

Postby Squirrel Girl » Dec 20, 2010 2:31 pm

Do you want a show cave (aka commercial) cave or a wild (aka undeveloped) cave? My first thought was "Carlsbad"! :clap:

Show caves have lights installed. These may or may not be sufficient for a photograph with a long exposure. You'd have a lot more control if you used a dark cave with your own lighting.
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Re: Panoramic Photography

Postby NZcaver » Dec 20, 2010 2:44 pm

dwgrussell wrote:Can anyone suggest any particularly large or impressive caverns that would lend themselves to a 360 degree photograph?

This one is kinda nice... :tonguecheek:
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Re: Panoramic Photography

Postby Phil Winkler » Dec 20, 2010 4:48 pm

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Re: Panoramic Photography

Postby dwgrussell » Dec 28, 2010 12:34 pm

Squirrel Girl wrote:Do you want a show cave (aka commercial) cave or a wild (aka undeveloped) cave? My first thought was "Carlsbad"! :clap:

Show caves have lights installed. These may or may not be sufficient for a photograph with a long exposure. You'd have a lot more control if you used a dark cave with your own lighting.


You are quite right, either would be fine but I would expect to have to relight any commercial cave.

I am based out of London and Winchester, but quite prepared to travel, maybe stick to the UK for the first go, but then...

Thanks for your help guys
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Re: Panoramic Photography

Postby Phil Winkler » Dec 28, 2010 12:43 pm

From the UK, France is not far at all. Many British cavers have visited the Pierre St Martin cave in the south of France.
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Re: Panoramic Photography

Postby Footleg » Feb 2, 2011 8:39 am

I've just recently (last year or so) got into taking panoramas. Here is my best one so far, taken in a cave in Northern Spain:
http://wscc.darkgem.com/footleg/pano/LosHoyos2.html

You can see a calcited bear skeleton in front of the kneeling caver. Whether the bear fell down the 60ft pit entrance and then made it this far into the chamber before it died, or came in another long since sealed entrance is uncertain. There are several well preserved dog skeletons in the same chamber too.
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Re: Panoramic Photography

Postby NZcaver » Feb 2, 2011 3:36 pm

Very impressive, Footleg! :kewl:

What camera body and lens are you using, and how do you do your post processing?
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Re: Panoramic Photography

Postby Footleg » Feb 3, 2011 5:12 am

NZcaver wrote:Very impressive, Footleg! :kewl:

What camera body and lens are you using, and how do you do your post processing?


This was taken with a Canon EOS 5D, which has a 12Mp full frame 35mm sensor. I used a 20mm prime lens, which enables me to cover one 360 degree rotation in 8 shots. I find it easier to picture where all the images fit in my head when there are 8 in a rotation, as you can imagine them looking at the 8 points of a compass (N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, NW). I am using a Nodal Ninja 3 panoramic mount on the tripod to eliminate parallax problems with image alignment. I take 8 images looking level (straight ahead) for the 8 points of the compass. Then another 8 with the camera looking up 60 degrees, another 8 with the camera looking down 60 degrees, then a couple straight up and a couple straight down at the very end without the tripod so that this can be removed from the final panoramic image. I also took a specific image of the model to ensure I had him all in a single good frame with the bear. Lighting was done using home made LED lights (the ones I gave a talk on the design of at the ICS2009/NSS convention in Texas). See my post here for plans: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=10090#p87654

Stitching can be done with the free open source Hugin application. But in this case I used Autopano Pro. I did have to manually edit some control points in Hugin and then hand edit the Autopano file to insert these however, as I cannot find a way to manually add control points directly into Autopano. Some of the individual images were hand blended composites of two frames taken in the same position in order to even out lighting and get compatible shadows on the overlapping region with adjacent frames. Currently the image is the auto blended result, with the blender in Autopano given some guidance by masking out areas of some frames so that they would not be used (to force the best exposed and in focus parts of overlapping frames to be used, and to ensure the caver did not have parts of his body replace with the cave background from other frames!). I plan to hand blend some areas from the individual frames to further improve the image. But that will take some more hours and so far this image has taken many hours at the computer already!
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Re: Panoramic Photography

Postby NZcaver » Feb 3, 2011 4:54 pm

Thanks for the info! We met briefly at the ICS in 2009 (riding in a van, I think), and I wish I'd been able to spend more time chatting with you about this.

I'm fairly familiar with Canon bodies and lenses, but have much to learn about post-processing.
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