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View Full Version : HDR pano of Toronto's frozen harbor



panoguy
02-05-2009, 05:50 PM
Hi All,

My first post to these forums, but I've been a user of Nodal Ninjas for a while (got the NN3-2 early last year). I've finally gotten around to posting one of my Nodal Ninja-based panos on the web for others to see, and here it is (Flash 9 format): http://www.mab3d.com/QTVR/dockside.html

Seriously cold afternoon by the ferry docks (-17C) but gorgeous skies. Can you believe that people live on the islands you can see across the harbor and commute to work on a ferry that cuts through the ice?

Shot with a Pentax K20D at 10mm. 35 shots in total: 6 around, 1 up, times 5 brackets for the HDR. (That sun, those clouds, and that snow!? Gotta be HDR!) Dropped into Stitcher 2009 to make the full HDR pano, then tonemapped in Photomatix, plus a little tweaking in Photoshop.

-Mark

BTW, many panopeople know me as "that guy who shoots HDR with the Agnos "3-shot angled head" and Sigma 8mm" but I'm now loving the Nodal Ninja and my Penax DA 10-17mm. Still shooting HDRs all the time... ;-)

John Houghton
02-06-2009, 03:36 AM
Mark, It's very good to see what real winter weather looks like. We think we are hard done by here in the south of the UK where we have had 3cm of snow this morning and the temperature is 0C. I can't share your enthusiasm for the HDR/Photomatix processing, though. There is a very obvious bright area around the buildings, particularly noticeable on the side nearest the sun. It's just not believable that the sky near the sun would be much darker than sky further away over the buildings. Other than that, it's a very good panorama, though to be excessively picky, zooming in a little reveals small stitching errors at most of the seams.

John

nick fan
02-06-2009, 04:06 AM
excellent pano. but I find the mirror ball a bit distracting.


nick

panoguy
02-06-2009, 10:02 AM
excellent pano. but I find the mirror ball a bit distracting.


I'm not a huge fan of the mirrorball nadir-cap either, but no one has (yet) made a transparent panohead and tripod for me to use when shooting HDR downshots. :wink:

I'd retouch it out if I had another hour to noodle in Photoshop, but I wanted to get it on the web while its still just as cold here.

-Mark

panoguy
02-06-2009, 10:32 AM
I can't share your enthusiasm for the HDR/Photomatix processing, though. There is a very obvious bright area around the buildings, particularly noticeable on the side nearest the sun. It's just not believable that the sky near the sun would be much darker than sky further away over the buildings.

It's kind of funny that after I posted the original message I realized that the pano on the web is actually an Enfuse version made from the separate stitched exposures, not the HDR-Photomatix tonemapped version. (Consider me shamed!) If I remember correctly, the tonemapping of the HDR was more problematic to show what I perceived as the drama of the sky at the time. Still, most people read "Photomatix" and immediately react with "unrealistic" (not that you have, of course) but forget that a camera can't record "real" and pretty much all exposure blending is done to counteract this.

Now that I look at it, those brighter halos around the trees and buildings are rather "typical" of HDR tonemapping, but a lot more diffuse - maybe that's what Enfuse does instead and I typically don't see it. I'm just thrilled that the pano isn't all white or gray (what my camera saw), but more along the lines of what I saw while freezing my butt off and looking around.

-Mark

Seacat
02-06-2009, 10:58 AM
Greet job Mark!

Johan

neilp
02-25-2009, 01:40 AM
I like it. I know HDR can look unnatural at times but this one is tastefully done and looks 'realistic' for the most part. The only thing that makes it look HDR like is those Halos (but then I see them because I've done HDRs myself and had the same problem).

RE the Mirrorball nadir, I'm new to 360 panos and I quite like it, but maybe that's because I'm new! I think it looks better than seeing a blank circle or a tripod. The alternative is to set limits on your quicktime max pitch angle so that the viewer cannot go down that far. The other alternative is to take a couple of zeniths at -90 with 0 and 180 degrees on the lower rotate, and a handheld, and spend a while with the clone brush making a perfect tripod free nadir.

Neil.