Friday, October 15, 2010

A Panoramic Picture Tutorial With a TSotwist (or a roundhouse kick in this case).

By: Daniel Timiraos
I’ve been toying with the idea of shooting The Living Room in our office for a while now. This is the space where, among other areas, we generally hold our client meetings, staff meetings and over all get-togethers. It has a sweeping view of downtown Coral Gables and affords amazing sunsets thanks to the floor to ceiling windows of our building. It’s our epicenter if you will.
   In order to capture this, a panoramic shot was a no brainer. I’ve created many of these for our clients so I went to work on one of our own. Tutorials on this abound on the web, but it case you’d like to know how I went about it:
 -Set up tripod at corner of the room that would provide the sweeping views. The image is shot in pieces and then stitched together in Photoshop CS5 using the photomerge feature. Without the tripod it would make things WAAAAY more difficult than need be.
- Set up camera to shoot vertically. I know it sounds weird since it’s a panoramic your shooting for, but in the end your final stitched image will be overall large and have more detail than is you’d shoot horizontally. Also this way you avoid shooting wide, which would distort the image causing your more “headache time” in Photoshop.
- Find and set your exposure manually to assure even exposure through the images in the stitching process. I shot with a 17-35 set at 35mm and the Aperture set at F11 to provide sufficient depth of field.
- Start shooting. Each shot should incorporate 20% - 30% of the previous shot to ensure a seamless stitch.
- Load the images into Photoshop and let in work it’s magic.
- Retouch and color correct final image.
- Rinse and repeat.

Simple enough and as you can see the results are pretty dramatic.

The only problem was that the image was missing the one element that really makes the room come to life; the quirky and charismatic bunch of people the make up VSBrooks Advertising. Without them it’s just another room in another office building - looks great but has no life. And more importantly, how can I show and accurate depiction of the Living Room with having Veronica roundhouse kicking our punching bag!?!
   So I re-set everything up with the exception of having me shoot it (thanks, Jimmy!) at a time when we were in our goings on at the office. Veronica randomly kicks the dummy throughout the day so I’ll fess up, that portion of the shot was staged. The slices would have to be strategically shot so as not to cut anyone in half. Also, in order to show motion, I had to drag the shutter to achieve the effect.

Voila! The Living Room comes to life!
   Now with people in it, the image is a panoramic with a twist, much like everything else here in the office. The people in the shot make something good become great. It’s our specialty. We interact with (and around) each other “seamlessly” (pun intended), making great things happen for our clients. It’s a slim slice of the dynamic life at VSBrooks.

If you'd like to see a larger version of the final image, head over to our Facebook page.

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