This was taken from the roof of my home in La Falda, Argentina. I consider this to be my first real panorama as all the previous ones were tests/learning. So please throw at me all the criticism, comments and suggestions you have. I know I still have a lot to learn.
Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi
18mm focal length
1/500 sec. exposure time
200 ISO speed
You already have learned a lot. Daring to shoot this tricky situation of high dynamic range. Very light sky, dark regions in the towns or areas with a lot more of clouds. Changes of light.
What are the following steps, shoot bracketing, to get the full range of the high dynamic? Shoot sphericals? So dare to step up...till now you seem to have trained yourself a lot. Very nice pano.
Though "Big Brothers" might comment "no details in darker areas". But this is a tricky situation you caught. Try a work through every picture with Photoshop adjustments Highlight/Shadows, set your finding as default and go through all the pictures. Then stitch. The easiest way to et more details. Without bracketing. Just play around with things like this and experiment.
Your are absolutely right that it is a very highly dynamic scene. I actually took 5 panoramas from the roof: 4 cylindrical and 1 spherical. This is the only one that came out good. In the spherical, the clouds were moving too fast. This caused to problems: sky shots could not be stitched and some ground shots were over exposed and others under exposed. The exposure issue also occurred with the 3 other cylindrical panoramas. I assume that if I had a wide angle lens I would need to take less images which means it would take less time, which in turn means less changes in lighting, clouds moving, etc.
I did take the images with bracketing, so I will go back and see what I can fix with those other images. I didn't understand what you meant by using photoshop. Do you mean fixing stitching error, removing garbage or did you mean playing around with the lighting to get more detail?
To make the spherical should I not also add "extra rows" for the zenith and nadir, or do the calculations you gave me cover the nadir and zenith?
With PS I ment playing around with lighting shadows and darkening hightlights : go to Image, adjustements, shadows/highlights. Try till you like the setting, then set this to default and apply it to every single picture of the pano. By this aal pictures are changed in the same ways to avoid different colours and exposures.
If you use PTGui use HDRI exposure fusion, output file "blended and layers" , then step over to Photomatrix Pro, or Enfuse Gui. Most stitching programs are not very specialised in HDRI. So stitch the different exposures in the stitching program and send the different stitched panos to the specialized HDRI Program.
Another workflow would be to work through the single bracketed pictures at first in HDRI, then step to stitch these photos to get your panorama. Depends on what you like. Or you might use DxO to correct your pictures and then you stitch.
Yes you are right : plus +/- 90° for zenith and nadir, as I wrote before.
Moving clouds, moving people, golves, or water on a windy day as well as trees are problems. With a fisheye you are much quicker, 3,4, or 6 shots around and there you are. Do you have a continious mode on your canon? On the Nikon I shoot CL mode while bracketing, works like a machine gun. And it saves time. And use a quick CF card, 40, 60 or 90MB/sec. This safes time as well.
I did take the images with bracketing, so I will go back and see what I can fix with those other images.
There are blending problems in the sky: the hue/saturation of the blue sky doesn't match between shots. I assume you used manual shutter speed and aperture. Maybe you left white balance on Auto instead of "daylight", or if you took RAW, perhaps you used auto settings there in the conversion. Otherwise the panorama looks good. If some shadow detail cannot be dredged from the blocked up shadows without unwelcome noise, you can generate a separate overexposed pano from the +ev set and merge in some good quality shadow detail from that. But really, the shadows only need to be lifted a little.