Texas A&M University (David Morris)



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    Goodbye Barcelona Photoshoot

    By David Morris
    Dec 19, '06 2:45 PM EST

    I'm leaving tomorrow, and I just wanted to share a few of my last photos of Barcelona. I'm ready to go home, but i'll miss it... we were so close... *esnif.

    click the images to see a bigger version:




    let me know what you think, and no i have no idea what that black spot in the bottom one is...


    • Chili Davis

      Great pictures David. I'm interested to know what kind of a setup you used. Are any of these HDR? I just got a new SLR myself and was going to try my hand at HRD.

      Dec 19, 06 3:18 pm

      yes, very nice images.

      Dec 19, 06 4:08 pm

      isn't the black spot a shadow of the cloud looming above you?

      Dec 19, 06 4:52 pm
      David Morris

      i have a quick tutorial on one of my old blog posts here, and i'm pretty sure my setup is still the same...

      but, course i can't find it anymore, so here's a short and sweet rundown:

      1. canon 300d (digital rebel) body - $450
      2. kit lens 18-55mm f4.6-5.6 - $80
      3. nodal ninja - $90-$120
      4. stable tripod - $90
      5. canon rc-1 IR remote control - $24
      6. realviz stitcher express - $59 (plus student discount)
      7. photomatix pro - $29 - student edition
      8. windows or mac - ---
      9. three button mouse - necessary

      from there, i setup the tripod, put the nodal ninja on, make sure i have the right measurements as listed in the nodal ninja manual combined with the panotools wiki, make sure everything is level (usually there will be 3 levels to keep track of) and then set the camera to auto-bracket -2 ---- 0 ---- +2.

      Then I

      -zoom into 55mm,
      -get a focus point,
      -turn off autofocus,
      -zoom out,
      -expose the shot to an area of medium detail
      -pan to a starting degree value on the nodal
      -do a 3-exposure shot (always with the IR remote) at each 15 degree marker on the camera (sometimes every 30 for a distance shot) on the horizontal,
      -and then 3 up 30 degrees and down 30 degrees.

      Dec 19, 06 9:51 pm
      David Morris

      then there's a simple technique to organize the photos into 3 subfolders for each shot named 1, 2, 3 or -2,0,+2, whatever... and put the corresponding exposures in each subfolder.

      then using "bulk rename utility" available on google, i rename all the images in each subfolder img_0001.jpg , img_0002.jpg, etc...

      that way i can load up the middle exposure set into stitcher, set the camera, align it, save it, and copy and paste the same stitcher file into each of the other subfolders. the fle links will be relative since they all have the same names starting with img_0001.jpg, etc...

      then you can spit out 3 renders of the 3 different exposures really quickly, and bring them into photomatix pro for some hdr merging and tonemapping.

      Photomatix is also available as a photoshop plugin, and I recommend it.

      Note: the only reason I do 3 exposures is because my camera doesn't allow me to do more. 3 is not technically sufficient to get a serious hdr image, but it depends on the scene. I would prefer 7 if i had a faster camera, faster card, and of course a camera that allows n-exposure bracketing. There are some newer nikons that do, and i'm not the most die-hard canon freak, because i don't think they've come out with that feature yet...

      if you buy a bigger camera you'll have to buy a bigger nodal ninja, which means you'll have to buy a different brand, and it will be more expensive... this is by far the cheapest way to do panoramic and hdr photography that i know of, but if you know of a cheaper or more efficient way, let me know what i've been missing out on all this time.
      Dec 19, 06 9:51 pm
      Chili Davis

      Thanks for the tutorial David. I'll have to look in to getting one of those nodal ninjas. FYI, here's my current equipment...

      Olympus Evolt E500 Body (8.0mpx)
      Zuiko 14-45mm f3.5-5.6 lens
      Zuiko 40-150mm f3.5-4.5 lens
      Zuiko 8mm f3.5 digital fisheye lens
      Manfrotto Modo Tripod
      Olympus RM-1 Remote
      Photoshop CS2

      I've been planning on purchasing the student version of photomatix as well. Also, what is the stitcher express and is it necessary with CS2? Anyway, great photos once again. I recently switched from film to digital and now I'm wanting to try some HDR myself. Thank you.

      Dec 21, 06 9:29 am
      David Morris

      It looks like your camera will work with the nodal ninja:

      Stitcher express is used for stitching the separate sets of exposures together. Photoshop has an image stitching script built in now, but it's very basic and won't do full 360x180 pano's, and it won't allow you to batch process sets of photos with templates like stitcher does. The express version is just a simpler cheaper alternative if you don't need some of the more advanced features:

      I bet the new stitching feature update in photoshop cs3 will be great, but it will not even come close to what stitcher can do:

      at the same time, there are plenty of other stitching software programs out there. Check out

      for some ideas. I recommend stitcher b/c it's the best one I've ever used, but if you find another alternative that works with as many features, let me know.

      you might try easy pano panoweaver as well just to see if you like the interface.

      And if you find a better hdr software than photomatix please give me a heads-up. I haven't found anything even close yet... Photoshop's basic hdr merge tool is lame at best, but will get better eventually.

      Dec 21, 06 10:21 pm

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