An ongoing series of photos taken around the Benderloch area of the Scottish West Highlands. If you would like more information about the area, including tourist and "where to stay" info please visit the Benderloch website - link on sidebar. Enjoy the pictures, and remember that if you click on a picture a larger version will open. Steve.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Connel Bridge

This is the standard view of Connel Bridge from the south side.
Its OK-ish but doesn't show the whole bridge and the clouds could be more interesting.

This was the more pleasing result I got from a set of fourteen photos which I stitched together. (Click image to enlarge.)

For those wanting to know how I did it here's the boring bit.
How to get a wide-angle shot of Connel Bridge?
Not easy when you don't have a wide-angle lens and have to photograph from fairly close to the bridge. The answer is to use a Panorama Stitching program, but most of these only work with all the photos adjacent to each other in the same plane. The results are usually good but they tend to miss out on sky and foreground.

So this time I used a newish program called Autostitch ( still in beta) It works in 2 dimensions to basically put a "jigsaw" of photos together, matching objects in the photos and adjusting for varied exposures. To complicate matters a little I wanted to emphasise the clouds and didn't have a polarizing filter. So I used my polarising sunglasses and corrected the colour cast later!

I took 14 overlapping photos of the scene (with an inexpensive hand held digital camera).

Just for interest I put them into a layout program and arranged them manually.

The photos laid out roughly in order.

The Autostitch result.
There's no laying out involved with Autostitch - you start the program and tell it which photos to work with, optionally adjust some settings then sit back and let it work. It takes a couple of minutes at the default, small file size settings but for a complex, large image it can take much longer (about five minutes for this on my 1Gb RAM laptop).

Autostitch has rather a lot of settings to adjust but having used it a few times now I'm finding which produce a good sized (therefore detailed) image.
At this stage you can see the way it has merged the photos, adjusted curves and tonal values. The orange tint is from my polarising sunglasses.

Then I took the Autostitch image and put it through Photoshop to crop it down, cloned out a piece of litter and my shadow and finally removed the colour cast. The result is a 34mb TIF file which should print up nicely.

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