Help Baldy shoot for a 72x240-inch print

BaldyBaldy SmugMug co-founderPosts: 2,918Administrators Major grins
edited November 19, 2010 in Technique
We have a wall at SmugMug that is begging for a jaw-dropping pano. We know we want the SF skyline, probably from Bay Bridge to a little past Coit tower. A lot like the shot in the next post, but with supreme sharpness & dynamic range.
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  • BaldyBaldy SmugMug co-founder Posts: 2,918Administrators Major grins
    edited August 1, 2008
  • BaldyBaldy SmugMug co-founder Posts: 2,918Administrators Major grins
    edited August 1, 2008
    I know it's a matter of taste, but ours runs towards seeing the buildings up close & personal, with people in the windows and along the water front. We're not too much into an expanse of water or sky.

    One of our fav SF shots, which hangs on our walls, is a variation of the one in the next post by Chris Michel. We like being able to see people and details.
  • BaldyBaldy SmugMug co-founder Posts: 2,918Administrators Major grins
    edited August 1, 2008
  • BaldyBaldy SmugMug co-founder Posts: 2,918Administrators Major grins
    edited August 1, 2008
    Anyway, on the pano we're trying to shoot, does anyone know whether we'd get better results using Hasselblad's H3D? I have a friend with one who claims it has extraordinary dynamic range.

    I'm a little concerned about how long a lens we'd end up using with it and what it implies for f-stop to get close enough to fill the frame mostly with buildings.

    Would love to hear your advice.
  • BaldyBaldy SmugMug co-founder Posts: 2,918Administrators Major grins
    edited August 1, 2008
    Actually, I take it back. The above pano is in a 12:1 ratio of width to height. Our room actually permits a 60-inch high print continuing across 3 walls for a total length of 700 inches, an almost 12:1 ratio.
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 18,877Super Moderators moderator
    edited August 1, 2008
    Baldy wrote:
    Anyway, on the pano we're trying to shoot, does anyone know whether we'd get better results using Hasselblad's H3D? I have a friend with one who claims it has extraordinary dynamic range.

    I'm a little concerned about how long a lens we'd end up using with it and what it implies for f-stop to get close enough to fill the frame mostly with buildings.

    Would love to hear your advice.

    There are rumors that the Hasselblad H3D-39 uses true 16 bit A/D sampling and does indeed have very nice dynamic range. One major issue you will have to contend with is noise above ISO 200. This would make a night shot that includes people and large DOF a challenge to say the least.

    In this regard, a Nikon D3 with very long lenses and a programmable tripod head, to do the incremental tilts and swings, might be the (currently) best way to go. I'm talking in the hundreds of images, stitched together.
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 18,877Super Moderators moderator
    edited August 1, 2008
    Inspiration:

    Gigapixel image using, I believe, a Canon D60, 196 exposures across 13 minutes, 40,784 x 26,800 pixels total.
    http://www.tawbaware.com/maxlyons/gigapixel.htm
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 18,877Super Moderators moderator
    edited August 1, 2008
    Inspiration:

    13 gigapixel image using 2045 individual images, Nikon D2X, Nikkor 300mm lens, PixOrb head, Autopano Pro software.

    http://www.digitalcamerainfo.com/content/2045-Images-Stitched-Together-to-Create-13-Gigapixel-Panorama.htm
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • BaldyBaldy SmugMug co-founder Posts: 2,918Administrators Major grins
    edited August 1, 2008
    ziggy53 wrote:
    There are rumors that the Hasselblad H3D-39 uses true 16 bit A/D sampling and does indeed have very nice dynamic range. One major issue you will have to contend with is noise above ISO 200. This would make a night shot that includes people and large DOF a challenge to say the least.
    Yeah, I'm reading that the dynamic range is amazing but the noise isn't so good above 200. Most guys shoot 50 or 100.

    Here's a really good comparison: http://www.photos-of-the-year.com/articles/d2x-h3d/

    Excerpt:

    The increased level of image detail was expected. The shocker was the dynamic range – this is where the H3D really distinguishes itself. With the D2X, I frequently resorted to bracketing just about any scene with meaningful dynamic range (often 5 or 7 exposures) and then combining them using layer masks in post (I always found this to achieve much better results than HDR in CS2). With the H3D you nearly have to be taking a picture of the sun to blow highlights. In scene after scene where the D2X would have suffered from massive blown highlights, HD3 handled the capture with ease. The difference is truly dramatic, will significantly shorten my landscape workflow, and should improve the resulting images. A sample image from my trip to Death Valley may be found here: http://www.pbase.com/hattenbach/image/77570448 . With the D2X this scene would have required blending at least two bracketed exposures (one for the ground, one for the sky). This image is straight from the camera, curves and levels applied and then downsized for the web. Less than a minute of processing.
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 18,877Super Moderators moderator
    edited August 1, 2008
    Here's a 1 gigapixel image of Chicago's night skyline, displayed using "Zoomify":

    http://www.docbert.org/ChicagoByNight/

    P.S. Technical for above:

    Total Resolution Approx 1000 Megapixel (67,000 x 15,000 pixels)
    Camera Used Canon 10D, Canon 100-400L lens
    Total Photos Used 194, almost all at 510mm (35mm equiv)
    Exposure 4 second, f/6.7, ISO 200
    Time to take Photos 58 minutes
    Software Used to Create Image Autopano Pro
    Final Image Size 7 GB!
    Web Viewer Software Zoomify, with over 20,000 demand-loaded images

    http://www.docbert.org/ChicagoByNight/cbninfo.html
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 18,877Super Moderators moderator
    edited August 1, 2008
    ziggy53 wrote:
    Here's a 1 gigapixel image of Chicago's night skyline, displayed using "Zoomify":

    http://www.docbert.org/ChicagoByNight/

    P.S. Technical for above:

    Total Resolution Approx 1000 Megapixel (67,000 x 15,000 pixels)
    Camera Used Canon 10D, Canon 100-400L lens
    Total Photos Used 194, almost all at 510mm (35mm equiv)
    Exposure 4 second, f/6.7, ISO 200
    Time to take Photos 58 minutes
    Software Used to Create Image Autopano Pro
    Final Image Size 7 GB!
    Web Viewer Software Zoomify, with over 20,000 demand-loaded images

    http://www.docbert.org/ChicagoByNight/cbninfo.html

    Note the exposure, "4 second, f/6.7, ISO 200".

    To get more people to show up I would suggest no longer than 1/4 second shutter, and that would imply ISO 3200 at f6.7. That's why I suggest the Nikon D3. With a 3 frame exposure bracket at each position you should have similar DR to the Hasselblad with much better noise control. You would simply disregard the DR in favor of people for those frames where it mattered.
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • TangoTango Major grins Posts: 4,592Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 2, 2008
    ziggy53 wrote:
    Inspiration:

    Gigapixel image using, I believe, a Canon D60, 196 exposures across 13 minutes, 40,784 x 26,800 pixels total.
    http://www.tawbaware.com/maxlyons/gigapixel.htm


    that self proclaimed record must fall. mwink.gif
    Aaron Nelson
  • BaldyBaldy SmugMug co-founder Posts: 2,918Administrators Major grins
    edited August 2, 2008
    ziggy53 wrote:
    Note the exposure, "4 second, f/6.7, ISO 200".

    To get more people to show up I would suggest no longer than 1/4 second shutter, and that would imply ISO 3200 at f6.7. That's why I suggest the Nikon D3. With a 3 frame exposure bracket at each position you should have similar DR to the Hasselblad with much better noise control. You would simply disregard the DR in favor of people for those frames where it mattered.
    Interesting, Ziggy. How will the moving people look blended with a 3-frame exposure bracket?
  • BaldyBaldy SmugMug co-founder Posts: 2,918Administrators Major grins
    edited August 2, 2008
    baldy, i would really like to see your SF skyline "end result" posted here after you get it....thanks
    You can bet we'll post it plus take shots of the room. And we're gonna have open houses. Man, I hope we can get this right.
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 18,877Super Moderators moderator
    edited August 2, 2008
    Baldy wrote:
    Interesting, Ziggy. How will the moving people look blended with a 3-frame exposure bracket?
    ziggy53 wrote:
    ... You would simply disregard the DR in favor of people for those frames where it mattered.

    In other words, you would only use a single exposure, the most correct for all the elements but adjusted to suit taste. The other exposures (without people) would be discarded. (The single exposure might have to be manipulated and duplicated to simulate multiple exposures just to satisfy the automated HDR of the software used to assemble the images.)

    You would only have to do this for images with people or other movement. Yes, it would be tiresome and a pain.
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • RichardRichard Mildly bemused Madrid, SpainPosts: 17,736Administrators, Vanilla Admin moderator
    edited August 2, 2008
    ziggy53 wrote:
    In other words, you would only use a single exposure, the most correct for all the elements but adjusted to suit taste. The other exposures (without people) would be discarded. (The single exposure might have to be manipulated and duplicated to simulate multiple exposures just to satisfy the automated HDR of the software used to assemble the images.)

    You would only have to do this for images with people or other movement. Yes, it would be tiresome and a pain.

    You can also do it after the fact. Do the HDR blend and then if there are problem areas due to movement, go back to the original exposures and select pieces from the one that best fits the tonal characteristics. The pieces can also be manipulated as well, if need be.
  • BaldyBaldy SmugMug co-founder Posts: 2,918Administrators Major grins
    edited August 8, 2008
    Well, this is gonna be interesting. I did some test shots with my MKIII and had a few issues. One was vibration with the 300mm lens in the wind. Another was the windows and lights were definitely white holes burned in the photo until I blended the bracketed exposures. It was late and there were few pedestrians out, so I think I'm gonna lose the requirement to show people in the shot.

    I ended up at Keeble & Schuchat this afternoon to get the brief on how to use the H3 and a couple of other H3 owners/working pros came in and talked about their experiences and why they spilled the big bucks. I rented it for a car show next week thinking I'd be the only freak with one, but Ron Kimball uses his for all his car shots so maybe I'll be just another bloke.
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 18,877Super Moderators moderator
    edited August 8, 2008
    Baldy wrote:
    Well, this is gonna be interesting. I did some test shots with my MKIII and had a few issues. One was vibration with the 300mm lens in the wind. Another was the windows and lights were definitely white holes burned in the photo until I blended the bracketed exposures. It was late and there were few pedestrians out, so I think I'm gonna lose the requirement to show people in the shot.

    I ended up at Keeble & Schuchat this afternoon to get the brief on how to use the H3 and a couple of other H3 owners/working pros came in and talked about their experiences and why they spilled the big bucks. I rented it for a car show next week thinking I'd be the only freak with one, but Ron Kimball uses his for all his car shots so maybe I'll be just another bloke.

    The Hasselblad H3 should work fine at low ISO and longer shutter speeds.

    You might be able to avoid some of the wind problems by using a photographers "blind" or some other type of wind break. I would like to be there when you explain what you are doing to the local keepers of the law. thumb.gif

    If it was easy, anybody could do it.
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • TangoTango Major grins Posts: 4,592Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 8, 2008
    dont skip the people idea, i think you should stage some human element into this...whats wrong with posing some people into the shot to hold for the expo?
    Aaron Nelson
  • jeffreaux2jeffreaux2 Grinning...and bearing it Posts: 4,761Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 9, 2008
    Options....

    I have heard good things about the dynamic range capabilities of Fuji DSLR's....but have no experience with one.

    I am sure you sandbagged the tripod. If the mount will hold up to it, maybe some ankle weights around the lens barrel?
  • BaldyBaldy SmugMug co-founder Posts: 2,918Administrators Major grins
    edited August 11, 2008
    Good stuff. Thanks for all the advice.

    We got a 60x72-inch print in the office today and it got us really excited about the pano we're trying to shoot...

    349892231_W9Kx6-XL.jpg

    Sam and I made our first attempt to get the skyline pano Saturday night. Skies were quite clear, but it wasn't an epic day. He brought a 1DsMKIII with a 600mm and I wondered, "How's he gonna avoid vibration?" I had the 300 mm on the H3D with the beefiest tripod Keeble rents. I hung sandbags on it and put it behind as good a windbreak as we could figure out. But the wind was coming straight at us and was really hard to deflect.

    We had fired off a few H3 test shots during the day and both of us thought they looked quite a bit better than his 1Ds, so we couldn't wait to see the skyline shot with it.

    We each shot two complete panos (he shot two rows because his lens was so long), but looking at the shots closely on the back of the camera I was afraid of vibration...

    A few hours later Sam came back and did something very smart that I wish I'd done: He put a 25-pound sandbag on the concrete wall and placed his lens between the two lobes of the sandbag to make it rock solid. He shot the whole pano over again, 135 frames at 22 megapixels each by just shifting the sandbag around. He shot ISO 400 at f/5, half a second.

    In the next post, I'll show actual pixels of what he got.
  • BaldyBaldy SmugMug co-founder Posts: 2,918Administrators Major grins
    edited August 11, 2008
    Okay, so the ferry tower isn't very big and the people in windows are pretty small and the island we shot from is far away. But here are Sam's original pixels.

    We wish we'd thought of Aaron's idea of putting some people in the shot with red SmugMug hats... Opportunity missed if we don't re-shoot.

    349992657_BN9DF-O.jpg
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 18,877Super Moderators moderator
    edited August 11, 2008
    That's awfully encouraging. thumb.gifclap
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • BaldyBaldy SmugMug co-founder Posts: 2,918Administrators Major grins
    edited August 21, 2008
    Here's a candidate for the 6-foot x 60-foot print we want to make:

    356350668_jghCf-O.png

    It's 3.3 gigapixels and we haven't been able to stitch it together yet because the Mac crashes.

    I'd actually like to see it go further to the left and catch the edge of the island, so maybe we'll take a second swing at the bat. Don't really like the ballpark lights either, and maybe we could catch it on a clearer night for so epic a pic.
  • TangoTango Major grins Posts: 4,592Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 21, 2008
    get a sail boat out there with lights backlighting the sails and all that neat kinda stuff.....
    Aaron Nelson
  • BPerronBPerron Observer of Light Posts: 464Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 22, 2008
    This is by far one of the most interesting posts I have read on here...I can not wait to see the finished product.
    Brandon Perron Photography
    www.brandonperron.com
  • digitalpinsdigitalpins lamontphotography Posts: 448Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 22, 2008
    here is a link to a gallery of mine with some pretty big pano's that I have made http://www.lamontphotography.com/gallery/1046111_eUN5M#60063703_BfjiE

    let me know if you like anything there, I love panorama's I am always making them
    www.lamontphotography.com
    Canon 60D
    Canon Rebel XTi (400)
    Canon 10-22mm, Canon 50mm f/1.8 II
    MacBook, MacPro
  • RhuarcRhuarc Pilotographer Posts: 1,549Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 22, 2008
    I just found this thread, but I'm fascinated! I love doing panos, nothing to this scale of course! The largest I have done yet are 12"x75" to hang on my cube wall at work. I wouldn't know how to go larger since ezprints doesn't do taller than 12" panos!

    Out of curiosity, what software are you using for your stitching? I have been using Photoshop, but if there is something better out there I want to give it a try!
  • BaldyBaldy SmugMug co-founder Posts: 2,918Administrators Major grins
    edited August 25, 2008
    We were unable to stitch together our 3.3-gigapixel image with Photoshop, so we got Calico to do the stitching. It did fine, took most of the weekend to render, but output a 2.2-gigabyte tif that Photoshop wouldn't open.

    So we're re-rendering now and saving to a jpeg.

    In the meantime, we received Nick's 72x180 pano of the Chicago skyline and it looks A-W-E-S-O-M-E -!!
  • BaldyBaldy SmugMug co-founder Posts: 2,918Administrators Major grins
    edited August 28, 2008
    Well. We keep going back because most of the people we hire have the photo bug and when they travel to HQ they wanna climb the coast guard tower and take shots like this:

    359916275_i2TnF-XL.jpg
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