Happy New Year, you!

You wouldn’t know it by the 70 degree and muggy weather we’ve been having, but it is officially the new year. This year’s new years eve plans can best be described by a series of follies, but it turned out to be entertaining nonetheless. I won’t go into details regarding those follies to protect the innocent, but I did stop by Discovery Green Park in downtown Houston to see what they were doing for the celebrations. Last year, they had a pretty cool looking laser show, but this year didn’t seem all that hot so I only took a couple of panorama pictures and went on with the rest of my plans.

Before I go further, I should explain that that panorama/merged picture is not necessarily the same as the Brenizer Method, that I described in the previous post. the Brenizer method’s purpose is to create a very shallow depth of field on a particular foreground – for him mostly portraits or engagement pictures. What I’m doing here is simply extending the capabilities of my ultra wide angle lens. So far my attempt at the Brenizer Method was a complete failure but in my defense I was attempting to do it on a giant statue which would’ve required about 50 pictures to be stitched together and I only had about 30 which didn’t quite work out well. At any rate, my current computer is not really equipped for that type of processing.

This particular picture was done using five pictures @ 14 mm on my Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 lens. I think the settings are f/6.3 2 second. I usually stick with auto white balance but that can create some issues when using multiple pictures. Because of that, I have discovered that shooting in raw and adjusting all the pictures in Lightroom, gives me the most consistent results when I get to merge on Photoshop. Some people like to export the JPEG and then do the merging, but I prefer to save as a DNG raw to do the merging so that way if I need to make some adjustments to the final picture in Photoshop, the results are slightly better sense there is more data to work with. Needless to say, this is kind of a pain in the ass, but you can’t argue with results.
Discovery Green

My next attempt was a bit more ambitious so I found a nice spot between the large crowds of people, set up my tripod, and to about 10 to 15 more pictures (life is too short to remember) to cover about 180° of view. The result was a giant file that could probably cover an entire wall. Here is a smaller version of it since I don’t really have a good way to upload a 40 megapixel picture.
Discovery Green NYE

This looks interesting and has a fisheye kind of effect, but panoramas can best be appreciated if viewed on a medium that takes into consideration the angles and fields of view- in other words it would have to be interactive. I don’t have my own webspace- at least not a personal one, so after doing a little research I discovered PAN0.net. It was a little bit tricky but it really is a wonderful and free service if you want to exhibit your panoramic pictures. here is the same picture in an interactive mode pan0.net/upano.php?id=2726&set_accept=1&perm=1 I played around with the angle, but it’s not bad for a first try. I think next time, I will have to try a complete 360° panorama, but for these sorts of pictures, you really have to make sure and be consistent and use a tripod. To get a better feel, go to that site and look at what other people have done.

There really weren’t too many exciting things going on at the park but here are a couple more pictures:

Discovery Green NYE

Discovery Green NYE


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