No ! it's not that cold. We don't have any ice here yet but I did download ICE: Image Composite Editor 64 bit from a Microsoft division known as Microsoft Research (info here)
I only just found out about it on a photography forum (here2)
Most users have been very happy using it so I thought I would give it a try. I do have sweep panorama on my camera but it never really starts and stops where you want it to and also the image is not very large. In the past I had been using a very good FREE program called Autostitch (here3) Not that there was anything wrong with it but I am a hobbyist and I like to try new things
I left home late in the afternoon looking for a panoramic image when I came across this residential street. The light from the sun was streaming through the leaves and I thought it looked very nice. It actually looked nicer in person and what this image shows
I stopped and snapped 6 or 7 shots from this location and automatically stitched them together using Microsoft Research ICE. The resultant file was over 51 megs but I downsized it to 12 megs when I exported it to .jpeg . This would be a good way to make a huge enlargement from a lower megapixel camera so if you wanted to have a large 20" x 30" photo hanging on your wall then this is the program to use as the size of your image is cumulative.
I had to reduce it further for posting here but here is a nearly 170° view from the same location
for a larger view click here remember that this is still a very reduced 2 meg file (orig was 51 megs) You have to click a couple of times before you get to "original size"
This program is very easy to use and even a dummy can manage to produce a great panoramic image. There is nothing to do except to drag your images over . . . and the images can be in any order. The built in editor even has options for cropping and scaling. It even shows you how large the resultant file size will be before you export it to jpeg
If you have never done panoramas before it is important to keep your exposure the same for all images so an adjustable camera would be preferable. I shot these images in manual mode and also manually focused. Different exposures can cause colour shift from frame to frame. Most P&S cameras usually lock the exposure on shot 1 so it may make a difference if you scan your arc clockwise or anti-clockwise depending whether it is darker or brighter on one end or the other. I tried to use an average of the scene
I am a wide angle person and you will usually find me at the wide end of any lens but when you shoot images for a panorama you should not be at full wide angle as you will not get straight horizontal lines if you are aiming up or down your horizon will be either concave or convex and stitching will create distortion. The sweet spot for panoramas is 44 mm (35mm perspective) and you should always keep horizontal elements, such as this gangway on an angle.
I stitched 8-9 images, this time with more overlap and the resultant file was over 80 megs, which I reduced to around 2.5 megs. The original file is sharp and detailed, the smaller one not so much
I like to do everything hand held but as you notice, I didn't do a very good job, this time. I could have cropped it but then I would have cut off those tall buildings. I should have snapped two horizontal rows to make this pano higher.
for a larger view click here
Disclaimer: I have nothing to do with Microsoft Research and they are not paying me to use their program, but so far it seems to work. It's a free download so give it a try
It's getting colder by the water. Soon I will have to wear a jacket instead of my fleece jacket. I am sure it was cold for this windboard surfer too
I am not sure what to think about this surfer. It looks like this person is wearing a suit and is wrapped up in white cloth bandages with holes for his eyes
There is not much boat traffic except for the fleet of Aquabus' going back and forth the inlet
Time to head home. Right now I can't walk very far. I've been hobbling around all week. I have no idea why my right foot is swollen again. Can't blame it on riding this time. It's only been 2 weeks without sandals and see what happens. Maybe it's all that rich food I had last weekend when David was here . . .