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Photography Question 
Howard McPherson


I have been taking photos in Arches NP and have been trying to do panoramas (using RRS equipment) to give the impression of cliff overhangs, such as at balanced rock. If I take a series of vertical photos or horizontal photos (100mm, 98, 200, or 280) I can join either series together properly in PS. However, trying to join several vertical series together has never worked. There is always a great deal of distortion in each row of overlap, especially when pointing upward of about 70 degrees. A photographer in Moab, Utah suggested a fish eye lens. Any suggestions for the equipment I already have? Or should I try a fish eye lenses? Thank you. Howard McPherson

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2/21/2006 11:32:54 AM

  A fisheye lense is very susceptible to perspective distortion. They are great for scenic photographs, but you may bend things like curbs, buildings, and fences. You don't say what kind of camera you have, but if you can find a fisheye lense on ebay, I'd get one just to try it. I use a 19-35mm zoom for a lot of my scenics, and it works great. It cost about 50 bucks and was purchased through Cametta camera on ebay. So you know, It was advertised in good condition, and when I received it, it was new in the box. A wonderful surprize.

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2/21/2006 1:51:00 PM

Damian P. Gadal
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/22/2002
  Check out George Lepp...

I just went to one of his seminars and he's and expert at this stuff


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2/21/2006 4:50:11 PM

John G. Clifford Jr
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/18/2005
  Sounds like you want to take multi-row panoramas.

You need a pano head, and you need to ensure that your camera/lens assembly is mounted so the camera revolves around the lens nodal point.

You also need to have plenty of overlaps... at least 10% per side per photo. This gives the pano software enough redundant info to work with.

And finally, you need good pano software. PS won't cut it. Look at for PT Assembler, a front-end to Helmut Dirsch's Pano Tools (freeware, included with the front end). This is the best pano software on the market.

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2/28/2006 12:17:03 AM

Michael H. Cothran   Here's my opinion -
You sound like you're on the right road to good panos since you had the good senses to buy the Really Right Stuff pano gear (none better in my opinion).
I believe your problem lies in your misplacement of the lens' nodal point for vertical shots. You probably have corrected the lens' position in your horizontal shots, but you also need to do this when shooting vertically. If you reposition your lens' nodal point (the entrance pupil) so that it rotates up and down over this point, I believe you will eliminate your misaligned stitching problem.
Michael H. Cothran

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3/1/2006 5:41:19 AM

Michael H. Cothran   One more thing -
When you are shooting mosaics (multiple rows of images), it is imperative that you have BOTH the horizontal AND vertical rotating points on your tripod/head lined up with the nodal point of your lens. This requires special pano head gear such as that of RRS in order to accomplish this important task.
Michael H. Cothran

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3/1/2006 5:56:28 AM

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