George’s talk was titled “Innovative techniques for outdoor photography: snowflakes to gigascapes”. The morning was devoted to talking about the techniques, the afternoon to the applications of them.
First let me start with his ‘bottom line’ advice—actually 2 bits of advice: Don’t limit your vision to what your gear gives you, don’t be a purist; use a computer to achieve your vision. And secondly, You must be knowledgeable of what you can do to process images, what you are capable of doing in the computer, BEFORE you go out to shoot, otherwise you are missing half your possibilities because you need to shoot specifically for the types of techniques you will use.
1. Panoramas—6 types. How many of you knew there were that many?!
The Composite panorama is the one we’re all familiar with; 2 or more shots, overlapping and combined into one long scene. Advantage over just cropping a single wide angle shot is that you can achieve much more detail for better, larger enlargement.
The Combination panorama as he described it is a series of HDR shots which are then combined as you would for a composite. You’re taking at least 3 times as many shots: 3 for each HDR times 2 or more to cover the entire scene you wish to capture. In addition, many of his were double decker panos, that is, 2 rows. Imagine the file size!
He also mentioned Aerial panoramas. Taken from a plane, he took a shot every 5 seconds and combined them.
Macro and Close-up panoramas. His advice: move the object not the camera. He takes a grid of shots to combine in a 3x3 or 3x4 image combination. The result is much more detail than you can achieve in a single shot, especially for enlargements. His prints measure in feet not inches!
Next was creating panoramas using the Giga Pan, which is a robotic device made for different sizes of cameras from P&S to DSLRs. You program it to take the necessary number of shots [sometimes hundreds!] for what they describe as ‘gigapixel’ sized panoramic images. http://www.gigapan.org/cms/shop/store Who has that much file space!?!
Lastly he covered Action Sequence panoramas. These are a different take on blending images. He uses the motor drive to take a rapid series of shots of a subject in action. You might use only every other one and some Photoshop magic to combine them. His example, 8 stills of a baboon crossing a stream all shown in one image.
Next up: 2. Additional Lighting