September has brought rain and overnight the moss went from brown to green. So I thought I'd photograph the house on the mossy rock using Lightroom's merge-to-panorama function. Since I lack a drone camera a from-below perspective will have to do.
For this image I used Lightroom 6.6 to stitch together eight Fuji Velvia jpgs, in two rows of four. Lightroom cleverly orders and aligns the shots with ease. Of course the more shots and the larger the files the longer it takes and the more memory Lightroom needs. Don't over do it: I drove Lightroom to cause a BSOD when it exhausted memory while trying to combine five D800e files.
I'm listening to Rock Steady by Aretha Franklin.
I didn't take a wide* lens to Greece last fall so I didn't get any of those mind-bending panoramas that a wide angle, a fish eye especially, can get you. Oh well. That I miss those shots so much tells me I may have to get another lens, like the Rokinon 8mm, or maybe a converter for the Nikon 10.5. It seems my shopping list is never empty.
On the other hand, I'm not really looking to add to my carry on. The iPhone's panorama function works in a pinch. Or, just overlap a set of shots by about a quarter frame then merge them later. The cost of these hand-made panoramas is in immediacy, the time spent processing, and a potentially ungainly file size, but it doesn't add to your bag.
Speaking of panoramas, here is an example of how not to shoot a panorama: the shots aren't lined up. It's not right, but I like it anyway.
*I'm gonna define wide as 10 to 12 on DX, 15 to 20 on FX.
I recently had five photos I needed to stitch, something I've done countless times, but Lightroom for some reason wouldn't stitch 'em. It'll do the right-most two, but no more. That's annoying.
But just in time I ran into Microsoft's free Image Composite Editor which effortlessly stitched all five. Plus, it offers additional stitching options and a more flexible workflow. I like this product.
Here's a photo of the green house bursting with basil, greens, strawberries and tomatoes. It's a nice time of year if you are a plant lover.
The photo, a not-very-impressive panorama --- see how the table is bent? --- is made from 4 photos, shot with a Samyang 12, which is a wide and fast lens, it's a 2.0, but one that is also EXIF-free and strictly manual focus. The former, the lack of recorded data, I can't do much about, at least not easily, I could carry a notebook or use the Fuji's voice annotation feature, but the second weakness, the manual focus, is somewhat alleviated with Fuji's focus assist, the little snakey dots which run along edges that are in focus, focus being a set of points containing a sharp color change.
Ahh, but helpful as they are, the dots can be hard to see, especially on a sunny day and you're looking at a busy scene, like a greenhouse full of plants. The trick to using focus assist, to enhance the contrast of the in-focus areas, is to set the film sim to b&w, like Acros, which I love, then set the focus assist dots to something contrasty like bright red, the red-colored focus marks stand out well against the b&w. The only downside to this is it adds a step in post for all those times you want a film sim that isn't b&w.
While I'm doing this glueing together of photos I'm listening to k.d. lang, Pullin' Back the Reins, she has such a fine voice, she almost makes me like the sound of country. Almost. Oh and if by chance you notice some sentences running long it's because I'm reading Proust who is able to weave a luscious story into one long punctuation-rich sentence, something I cannot do, I don't really even aspire to achieve this feat, but I am awed at his ability to do so in so effortless a manner, and to inspire me to face each sentence as a mountain that must be climbed in one uninterrupted effort.
After many days of smoke-filled skies I figured it's time to see a clear sky, even if it's only a photo of a clear sky and it's on the other side of the world.
This is the Malatrá Valley, in Italy. In the upper left corner, the speck on the green hillside, is Rifugio Bonatti where we hiked in and spent a comfortable night. The eye watering view from Bonatti is of the Mount Blanc massif, on the right. The massif is not only beautiful to look at but you can go under it, by car, or over it, by cable. I highly recommend the latter. Both take you to the other side of the massif where you'll find charming Chamonix, in France.
I shot this from the Col de Ferret, on the trail that would take us to our next stop, Ferret, in Switzerland. It was my first trip with a digital camera.
While I captured the photo in 2004, today, in 2018, was the first I'd seen it, and that is because it's made of two photos and only today did I happen to see them back to back and notice their panorama potential. Wow, what a difference they make glued together.