August 2010

Panoramic of La Bourse, Bordeaux

Making a panoramic photograph. There’s more to it than meets the eye!

This may look like a simple image but believe me it isn’t.  This was taken at the end of August which is a busy time in Bordeaux. Throughout the day, people play in the water wholesale nba jerseys fountains of the mirror pool opposite the Bourse. In a cycle that changes every few minutes the water drains away to leave a shallow pool. This lasts a very short time.

Timing is everything! At this time of year, if the sky is clear,  the optimum time for night shots is roughly half an wholesale jerseys hour after sunset. Too early and the sky is washed out. Too late nfl and the sky is an inky-coloured and the lights over-exposed.  Originally, I wanted to get the whole building wholesale jerseys China in the shot but that did not make the most of the sunset.  I  cheap jerseys therefore set up the tripod at the corner of the pool at it’s minimum height, in order to capture as much of the reflection as possible.

I selected a focal length of 35mm  on my 24mm-105mm canon L series lens which I find works bullpen best when stitching vertical images together. The Manfrotto panoramic head allows you to preset the rotation increments so the overlap is approximately 20%. All settings must be on manual so as to ensure good blending in photoshop. With everything ready, I had on to hope that the group playing in the water would decide that it was time for an aperitif. They did!

The next problem was movement. As sophisticated as photoshop is, stitching 4 images together with a moving image is  as yet impossible. I wanted a tram to be in the shot to add interest and create a sense of movement. It had to be at a stand still. In a blur of activity I took a sweep of shots and hoped all the elements were in place.

When I eventually was reunited with my Mac and the cs5 Photomerge program, I selected the 4 images with wholesale jerseys some NFL trepidation. Would the building with be properly aligned?  Was the tram still enough? I hadn’t felt like this since the days of film, when you didn’t have the benefit of checking the image on the back of the camera.

A few seconds of suspense and the image appeared on the screen. It surpassed my expectations. Perfect! Careful planning, good preparation and a lot of luck resulted in a great shot. If you haven’t tried taking a panoramic shot before then have a go. You need to understand the technical side but the results can be surprising.

La Bourse, Bordeaux