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06-11-2013, 04:24 AM   #1
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Stitched Panoramas / Brenizer Method

I bought a M 50 f1.7 and I love it, so it's always on my camera because photos taken with the 18-55 now look a bit fuzzy to me. It's rewarding to use, but it's a tad long on APS-C so I've started taking multiple exposures and stitching them if I want to capture a static scene that's wider than the lens allows.

I'm shooting RAW and processing the files in darktable, then stitching them using hugin and I'm fairly pleased with the results (albeit I need more interesting subjects - the shots below are part of my learning process)

I just wondered if anyone has any tips I might be able to use? I'm handholding so the rotation of the camera isn't perfect, so on shots like the one with railings I sometimes get things not quite lining up - or rather I always get things that don't quite line up, but it's more obvious when there are man-made straight lines!

Anyway, here are a few of my test of concept shots. Any ideas for things to try in the software or with the camera much appreciated, as would be any shots taken with a similar technique to inspire me. Ta.


Frog Walk, Sheffield on Northern Soul, on ipernity


Frog Walk, Sheffield, Looking toward the Cemetery. on Northern Soul, on ipernity


The Tramway, Sheffield par Northern Soul, on ipernity


Grafitti in Sheffield par Northern Soul, on ipernity

06-11-2013, 04:30 AM   #2
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I think the general rule is to capture at least 1/3rd of the previous frame in each subsequent frame, and to shoot in a pattern (clockwise, counterclockwise) so the panoramic program has less shuffling around to do.
06-11-2013, 04:38 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by JinDesu Quote
I think the general rule is to capture at least 1/3rd of the previous frame in each subsequent frame, and to shoot in a pattern (clockwise, counterclockwise) so the panoramic program has less shuffling around to do.
I do try to have a lot of overlap having ended up with gaps in my earlier tests:

More Panorama Experiments par Northern Soul, on ipernity

but it doesn't seem to take so much longer if you go out of sequence - this is three shots taken in the order middle, right, left. I guess if you did many more shots and they were out of order processing time would suffer badly though - good point!


Abandoned Building by the Railway par Northern Soul, on ipernity
06-11-2013, 06:15 AM   #4
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From what I understand, a stitched pano is usually the term used for stitched landscapes.

Brenizer technique is a stitched pano usually involving people/or some object of focus, with the environment being OOF.
The result is what some call 'bokeh panorama'

I too am meddling in both.

Stitched pano. (about 12 frames in RAW set at 5mb each)


pano of 5 vertical frames


I find that Hugin while powerful and flexible isn't that smart with vertical stitches, and its often better to set the frames horizontally for the algo to find the link points, then turn the stitch back vertically (within Hugin)

Sometimes, PS or PSE panorama tool is smarter when Hugin does not work. But its not as flexible.

Here are some meddling with the Brenizer Technique

Generally 9 frames.
This one is 9 vertical frames.

I've got to capture the subject in 1 frame with space for overlap, since he does not stay still for long.
Shooting adults, one can split the subject into multiple frames.

This one is about 9 landscape orientation shots.

I find that I like the larger expanse of space around the subject and framing format.

06-11-2013, 06:30 AM   #5
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I love those shots pinholecam.
06-11-2013, 09:08 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Northern Soul Quote
Anyway, here are a few of my test of concept shots. Any ideas for things to try in the software or with the camera much appreciated, as would be any shots taken with a similar technique to inspire me.
Avoid railings etc in your shot
Take more shots than you need, especially round the edges and corners of your pano.
Get some decent software - Hugin is pretty good, I use Kolor Autopano Pro.
Brenizer panos can end up looking a bit boring.

I shoot these all time time, especially when I can't be bothered to swap lenses.

Moving objects or people present no problem to Autopano :






It handles multiple viewpoints (where you'd moved the camera in-between shots) well :




Or really big panos (this one was 25 shots) :


06-14-2013, 10:42 PM   #7
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I would shoot full manual so that all of the pics. have the same focus, etc. and use the grid in the viewfinder to line up a point and keep it level.

Also, throw away all of the rules and have fun. Sometimes you will get weird results.
06-15-2013, 12:59 AM   #8
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You'll find some examples and advice for the Brenizer technique here: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/mini-challenges-games-photo-stories/14366...od-photos.html.

General advice is:

Use a lens with the narrowest depth of field possible - I usually use an 85mm f/2 lens wide open but a 100/2.8 is also good
Make sure you are in manual mode with manual white balance
There is no need to use full resolution. If you do then the stitching will take ages. I usually use 2MP jpegs.
Get the exposure right for the whole final image by metering for what will be an average of the final composite image. If you can do this well and then shoot in jpegs you will save yourself a lot of time PPing all the individuall shots before you use them. This is the one situation where I usually turn off RAW.
Make sure you fully cover the field of view you want to use. If in doubt, take more shots.

06-15-2013, 05:34 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Northern Soul Quote
I just wondered if anyone has any tips I might be able to use? I'm handholding so the rotation of the camera isn't perfect, so on shots like the one with railings I sometimes get things not quite lining up - or rather I always get things that don't quite line up, but it's more obvious when there are man-made straight lines!
This is probably a result of parallax errors between your shots, which you can try to prevent by rotating your camera around the lens (not around you head, or around the center of the camera... but closer to the front of the lens). Since you are practicing, here is a cheap and portable method to reduce parallax errors, by tying a weight on a string to the front of your lens as a "reminder" of where to rotate.

BTW, I like the tramway shot.
06-15-2013, 05:46 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by pinholecam Quote
I too am meddling in both.
Great shots!

Regarding good stitching software, I can recommend ICE from Microsoft. Its free but always did fine with everything I tried. I once tried a pano that I successfully did with ICE before with Photoshop and the latter did an absolute shite job in comparison.
06-15-2013, 05:54 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
I can recommend ICE from Microsoft.
Ditto, and with a link:
Microsoft Research Image Composite Editor (ICE)

I fall back to Hugin only if MS ICE barfs on a pano, which is rare. I also enjoy the ease of use of MS ICE. I process the RAWs in Lightroom or DxO first, then feed the JPG's into MS ICE or Hugin.

I tend to go in for very wide panoramas, mostly handheld, sometimes pivoting from a monopod. However while static subjects are easy when doing wide, shooting water can be problematic. Some samples:


Mt Lindesay w. grassland panorama


wide brown land panorama


Arboretum south view panorama
(This is the RX-100's 'Sweep panorama' mode at work, doing a very nice job).


Sunset fisherman panorama
06-15-2013, 10:54 PM   #12
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+2 for ICE - and the price is right!
06-15-2013, 11:30 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Great shots!

Regarding good stitching software, I can recommend ICE from Microsoft. Its free but always did fine with everything I tried. I once tried a pano that I successfully did with ICE before with Photoshop and the latter did an absolute shite job in comparison.
Thanks for the tip.
Downloaded ICE, going give it a spin
06-16-2013, 01:38 AM   #14
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Thanks for the ongoing tips I can't use ICE as I run Ubuntu, but I am happy enough with Hugin: it too has a very attractive price

I've not tried the weighted string method to remind me where to rotate the lens, but I did try a reasonably close 3-shot stitch of a shop-front when I pointed to about the centre of the 50mm and rotated around that, and it seemed to be pretty accurate in terms of parallax. I must work out where the no-parallax point is and make myself a pano head - Pryds: Build Your Own Panoramic Head (Novice Approach) Pete's Cheapo Nodal Samurai Homemade Panoramic (Pano) Head 'L' Bracket. - as I say, the results from rotating it around the centre of the lens barrel seem ok so I guess it's roughly there!

(will edit to add sample image later - host i splaying up at the moment)
06-16-2013, 02:30 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by pinholecam Quote
Stitched pano. (about 12 frames in RAW set at 5mb each)...
Lovely compositions!
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