Boston Skyline at Night - 14 image Panorama (E-PM1 + 45mm 1.8)

Discussion in 'Scenic, Architecture, and Travel' started by atomic, Feb 19, 2012.

  1. atomic

    atomic Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 3, 2011
    For those that think the Olympus 45mm 1.8 is a portrait lens, here's a new twist: I took 14 images of the Boston skyline in portrait orientation and stitched them together using Hugin. This is my second attempt at a Boston skyline and it won't be my last, but I think it's getting better. Most of my improvements were made from advice I gathered here on mu_43... thanks!

    All 14 images were taken with my E-PM1, mounted vertical on a tripod in jpeg. Aperture Priority Mode - F8, ISO 200, AWB. Olympus 45mm 1.8 - manual focus using 10x and VF-2. Images rotated with iPhoto, stitched and cropped with Hugin (set lens to 45m rectilinear 2x crop factor, set exposure tab to optimize for high dynamic range/variable white balance/fixed exposure, output jpeg 90%). All other settings left as defaults.

    Please share any tips or comments you may have. I'm just starting to learn my way around my camera and the software I have. I'd really like to get better at this before I head to Las Vegas in April. That city just begs for the panoramic treatment!


    Click the image and then click "O" at the top for the full res (18774x1834 :eek:) image.
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  2. atomic

    atomic Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 3, 2011
    Mods, please move this to Image Works.
  3. Panut

    Panut Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 25, 2011

    Just thinking... Couldn't using AWB have the effect that the camera decides a different wb for each of the 14 images, and you have to fix them later? To be on the safe side, could one use same, fixed wb for all of those?
    Or does the Hugin setting "variable white balance" have something to do with this issue? (I don't know Hugin)

    Not that I would see such a problem in your image, really just thinking. Looks good to me, only it's so wide that I get a craving for one another monitor...

  4. atomic

    atomic Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 3, 2011
    I wasn't sure what to set white balance to, so I opted to let the camera decide. I chose the variable white balance setting in Hugin with hopes that it would average out any variation in white balance settings across the 14 pics. I should probably learn more about setting it manually.
  5. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Real Name:
    Very cool picture.
  6. JohnF

    JohnF Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 1, 2010
    Oberursel, Germany
    For best panorama results, set everything to manual, including WB. Keeps things consistent from picture to picture, and it simplifies life. I do panoramas with the GigaPan robotic head, if you are serious about panoramas, it's the way to go. My largest is around 4 gpixel.... :)

    Sent from my Acer Iconia using TapaTalk...
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  7. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Real Name:
    Promit Roy
    Although it doesn't look like it showed up as a problem here, always lock your exposure settings for a pano. A lot of the tools try to correct things like vignetting and mismatched exposures but you really want to get it right from the get go. I haven't had white balance problems in the past but I guess if you're really intent on doing it right, you should lock that down as well. Manual focus, manual exposure settings, and ideally RAW files of course. What I do now is take RAWs, process (using exactly the same settings for all, this can take some experimentation), export to 16 bit TIFF, and then feed the TIFFs into Hugin. Then I have Hugin export a TIFF and create a JPEG from Photoshop as a final output. Works great, but takes up an enormous amount of memory as the final TIFF easily gets into the gigabyte range. So a beefy computer and 64 bit Photoshop are very helpful.

    As for this specific pano, I can't figure out how to view it at a decent size on that site. I do think it could use a lot more of the water reflections in the shot. I usually take 3-4 layers vertically to give myself room to crop.
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  8. troll

    troll Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 25, 2012
    How do you deal with the tripod mount being offset from the lens axis? I've had E-P2 for a month and my old quick release plate from the times I used DSLR is no good for PEN, doesn't even allow to change the battery without removing it first. :( Are there any quick release systems for PENs that "compensate" for the offset and aren't as expensive as the Really Right Stuff L-plate?
  9. 0dBm

    0dBm Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 30, 2011
    Western United States
    Not only do I think it is a portrait lens, but I KNOW it is a portrait lens. :biggrin:

    It is one of the traditional focal lengths for portraiture; however, I have on occasion used a Nikon 85mm f/1.4 for landscapes and a Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 for portraits.:cool:

    The image that you captured of the Boston skyline is fine one.
  10. atomic

    atomic Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 3, 2011
    Thank you all for your feedback and compliments! I'll try to address everything in one thread so I don't add half a dozen more posts:

    I checked out that Gigapan head... that's a pretty sweet bit of kit! Thanks for sharing, I had no idea that something like that even existed! I think for now I'll stick with a tripod/pan head and overlap by eye. Most of the panoramas I'd want to shoot are from travel locales, and the tripod alone is more than I want to carry most places I go. I could, however spend hours perusing that website!

    Thanks for sharing your workstream. That sounds like what I should be working towards. At the moment I have not made the investment in software (or knowledge) to work with RAW files.

    By "exposure" do you mean shutter speed? I had EV locked at 0, aperture locked at F8, but the shutter speed does vary between shots. Of the 14 files I have 6 15sec, 6 13sec, 1 20sec and 1 25sec. Looking at the individual files (and the stitched panorama) I honestly can't tell. Should I be trying to avoid this?

    How do you get the vertical layers? Can Hugin detect that you've started a new layer, or do you have to tell it (these photos are level 1, these photos are level 2...) Is it important that the layers line up the same (pic 4 row 1 directly above pic 4 row 2...) Without buying more equipment I'm likely going to be lining these up by eye... I'm not sure I could get the first 14 or so images to line up with another set. Also, the river is pretty narrow there, I'd have to angle down quite a bit to capture another layer of reflections.

    To view the original size on smugmug, click the image here, then look for the sizes across the top of the image (S,M,L,XL,X1,X2,X3,O). Click the "O" for original. Unfortunately, smugmugs auto-resizing works on the longest dimension, rather than a percentage, so the smaller sizes aren't very useful. If you want to mess with it in your own software, just download it. I haven't bothered to protect the file.

    The tripod mount is centered on the lens, slightly forward (front to back) on the E-PM1 body. It is impossible to change the battery or SD with the quick release attached. In fact, I've found that some of my lenses won't even clear it. I simply put it on to mount to the tripod, then remove it immediately when I'm done. Sort of defeats the purpose of quick release, I know. The camera won't even fit in my camera bag with the quick release attached.

    Okay, you got me. It's a fantastic portrait lens! But that's not all it can do... :biggrin:
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