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This is my 8th upload from my ice cold trip through the nature reserve 'Het Broek', it was -9°C that morning and the lake was completly frozen over.
I had to put some effort in actually taking this shot, I was standing
on the other side of the shore and couldn't find a good angle to be
able to get the trees, I knew I had to be on the other side. Since the
brook was frozen over and it was -9°C I thought the ice would be
strong enough to support my
fat muscled body, but when I put my first foot on the ice I heard rarther
unpleasant cracking noises, so I took my foot back and used my sturdy
tripod to give the ice a good bang, it cracked through, no such luck,
so I walked for about a kilometre around, climbed over the barb wired
fence into a field where 5 or 6 bulls were happily eating the frozen
grass and were looking at me like they first saw an alien ( that was
not true since I was already there before ;) ). I walked through their
field and crossed 2 little frozen brooks to finally arrive at this
brook, still a bit of a problem in arranging the tripod in such a way
that it was stable on that slope while keeping a half eye on the bulls
in the distance. After the shot, back through the field of bulls and
back over the barb wire, pffew.
Vertorama stitching : the lazy bastard way.
As input you need two shots taken horizontally, one above the other with about 30% or more overlap, I've used 2 horizontal HDR shots taken at 10mm here, so rest assured that there ain't no problem with the widest shots.
So here is the photoshop part :
1) Load both shots into photoshop.
2) Optional : If there is too much difference in the colour or brightness of the shot you
can alter one of them to match the most pleasing of the two using the normal tools you
should know by now.
This sure doesn't need to be an exact match.
3) Copy paste one of them into the other.
4) Rotate the canvas 90°
5) Select both layers
6) Select 'Edit>Auto-Align layers...' and be sure to select 'Cylindrical stitching'
7) Select 'Edit>Auto-Blend layers'
8) Rotate the canvas 90° in the opposite direction of the previous rotate.
9) Merge the layers ( Shift-Ctrl-E )
10) Now you can free transform this layer ( ctrl-T ) and push the warp button
( looks like a curved mesh ),
from this point on you can drag the corners of the image to get rid of the curved
edges that were introduced by the stitching process.
Now all you have to do is a crop and do all other photoshop work you
Hope it will work out for you too: quick and easy !
In fact this is so dead easy that you can put this into a photoshop
action (step 3 until 9 ) :
I sure did!
You might be wondering what that 90° rotating comes from, but it's plain stupid: the photoshop 'Cylindrical Stitching' algorithm was written to stitch shots taken horizontally, as a cylinder around the photographer, since we're producing Vertorama's here we just fool the algorithm by rotating our images 90°.
2 x Standard 3 exposures HDR [-2,0,+2EV] in RAW/ISO100 at f/11 using the Sigma 10-20mm lens, on a tripod.
Tonemapped using the detail enhancer.
° Vertorama stitching with my predefined action ( see above for the
° Shadows and highlights.
° Deepening the blues by applying extra saturation and lowering the lightness.
° A tiny bit of highlight doging and saturation sponging on the ice.
° High pass sharpening :
- Make a duplicate of the layer.
- Select Filter>Other>High pass (Select 10 pixels)
- Change the blending mode of this layer to 'Hard light'
- Change the opacity of this layer to around 30 to 60%.
All comments, criticism and tips for improvements are ( as always ) welcome.