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Panoramas

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The three peaks of Corn Du, Pen Y Fan and Cribyn as seen from just below Cribyn.
At the end of last year, I suggested that I would be doing more black and white work and more panoramas this year, Well nothing much has happened in any area but hopefully things will pick up soon. Anyhow, it seemed like a good idea to offer at least one panorama as the year ends. I'll admit that I haven't found doing these to be particularly easy and there have been more misses than hits, but once you get the hang of them, they are fairly straightforward. Of course, there are compact cameras and phones that do them automatically nowadays, but for quality, a diy approach is better. This pic was composed of four vertical images. The main problem was that my tripod shadow was in the frame, so that had to be cloned out. Before attempting a panorama, the first rule is to get your tripod level. By this I mean the actual tripod, not just the head, so remove the head and put a spirit level on the actual tripod to make sure it is spot on. Then attach the head and level the camera using the head and a hotshoe mounted spirit level. Secondly, do not use too wide a lens as distortion becomes more exaggerated. I would suggest 35mm max. I got away with 29mm for this pic but I needed to do a bit of work on the seams. The final piece of the puzzle is software. Photoshop does a fine job sometimes, but not always - (it failed miserably with this shot). For this image, I used Microsoft ICE (Image Composite Editor) which is available as a free download and which did the job in a very quick time. Hugen also make a free download which I have had some success with in the past, but it seems to crash a lot, so not really recommended. Other than that, just practise a lot. The ratio for this particular image is 2:1. I try not to go more than 3:1 or the image can becomes too long, but do adjust it to something straightforward as the final step in the process, as it makes making prints a lot simpler.