Teach it Tuesday - so you need a bigger camera | at the Treasury on the Plaza in St. Augustine

I can't tell you how often I find myself in situations where I wish I had a larger camera or at the very least, a bigger lens. One of the tricks that photographers have used for years to get more stuff into an image is a technique called 'the stitch'.

'The stitch' is not a blue alien from another universe... it is when you take an sequence of photos while slowly moving the camera from left to right (or up and down). Those raw photos are then loaded into Photoshop and the edges of each photo are blended into each other.

In March, my studio partner Kate Gardiner (whose amazing work you can see here) was asked by the owners at the Treasury on the Plaza to come down and grab a few photos on their inaugural night and being the solid gold friend that she is she called me up and asked if I thought I might be interested in joining her... I was like "let me reschedule my birthday party".

Inside the massive ballroom you could immediately see that even with my widest lens (a Nikon 16mm fisheye) that there is just too much room and too much awesome to fit into a single frame. Instead of trying to photograph the room with the fish and deal with that distortion I instead opted to perform a free hand panoramic stitch.

Gear used:
+ Nikon D800
+ Nikon 24mm f/1.4
+ 2 x Lumipro LP180s
+ 2 x Pocket Wizard Plus IIs

Here is the initial sequence of 12 images as well as the final image.

The Treasury on the Plaza ballroom.

A total of 17 images were needed for the final image (12 for the stitch and another 5 reference photos). In order to get to the final image a few more adjustments had to be made.

RF3_0203 Panorama-Edit-2.jpg

Here is the photo that is mid-processing... as you can see there are still a lot of issues from the original stitch that need to be corrected. The room is too dark, the color needs to be adjusted, the columns needed to be rebuilt and Drea (from Coastal Celebrations) needs to be removed.

I am showing you the behind the scenes to remind you that this technique won't solve all of your problems... but with a normal camera, a somewhat wide angle lens and a little bit of patience the final image is at least 12 times more awesome :)

p.s. you have to check out the ballroom over at the Treasury on the Plaza... they turned the old safe into a bar!