Nov 122014
 

Read at at slrlouge.com:

69039r

Widening Your Horizons

If you are a professional photographer, you know how the photography market has morphed over the last few years. We have more competition than ever from our fellow pro shooters. The relative ease of creating digital images has inundated stock photo agencies to the point that our images often get lost in a “sea of similars.”

To add insult to injury, we are now seeing a tidal wave of smart phone images and a perception that images should be free!

Over the last 21 years, the art of creating visually compelling (and highly marketable) panoramic images has brought me the unique appeal I always wanted as a professional photographer. 

devilsr

A Profitable and Fun Niche

I found that the panoramic format is fun, as well as challenging, in many ways. I love the cinematic feel of panoramas and enjoy the compositional opportunities the format has to offer. By concentrating my efforts, I have found a unique way to compete in a changing marketplace.

Creating Your Panoramas

First of all, you may want to investigate the technical aspects and gear requirements of the format. One of the most important technical aspects of creating panos is that your lens must rotate around the entrance pupil of the lens. Sometimes, this point is called the “Nodal Point.” This is essential to getting a good stitch. You can read a good explanation about it here.

When shooting images for a pano be sure your camera is set on manual exposure and focus. If these change during your exposure sequence, the resulting panorama will be useless. Also, be sure to use a remote to trigger your exposures as any vibrations can ruin the panorama.

I set my exposure based on the brightest portion of the panorama using “Expose to the Right” technique.

30346r

Use Gear You Already Own 

Add a good a panoramic tripod head, either manual or automated and you are on your way. Here are a few panoramic gear suppliers;

360 Precision

Nodal Ninja 

Really Right Stuff 

Seitz Roundshot 

40464r

Dedicated Panoramic Cameras?

With the exception of the Seitz Roundshot Digital cameras, all of the dedicated panoramic cameras use film… not that there’s anything wrong with that! Actually, the Fuji and Linhof panoramic cameras are fantastic. The problem is that we just don’t know how much longer we’ll be able to purchase film and find labs to process it. These cameras served me well for many years. That being said, I have rarely used my film cameras in the last few years. 

Most camera manufacturers have not produced digital panoramic cameras due largely to the lack of appropriate sensors. Development costs and what would be a miniscule scale of production are to blame. The Seitz cameras are the exception, as I mentioned. Their panoramic cameras are famous for their Swiss precision and durable design. I use their VR-Drive tripod head which automates the process of shooting images needed for the subsequent stitching process. The customer service at Seitz is first rate! Ask for Werner Seitz. Mr Seitz has been very helpful to me over the years.

Aspect Ratio?

Panoramics can be any aspect ratio greater than 2-1. However the best selling and most common aspect ratio used is 3-1. Unless there is a compelling compositional reason not to use the 3-1 aspect ratio, that is what I recommend. The 3-1 ratio being exactly double the width of the full frame 35mm standard format. As such, 3-1 works well for advertising and coffee table books where the images are often displayed across two pages. 

Specialized Software 

Though you can stitch panos in Photoshop CC, I use specialty software; 

PTGui 

Autopano Giga 

HDR Expose 3 

PTGui and Autopano Giga are stitching programs which allow a greater degree of stitching control and precision over Photoshop CC. These programs allow you to create panoramas, but also 360 degree virtual reality images. HDR Expose 3 will allow you to create extremely precise and realistic HDR images and HDR panoramic images. Although there are many HDR software programs, HDR Expose 3 now has a unique “Pano Prep Batch Processing” mode. This new mode allows the application of identical tone-mapping to the HDR panels for subsequent stitching. 

What to Shoot

You will need to consider the types of subject matter that are in demand if you are hoping to get your images licensed on the one hand, or sold as “Print On Demand” on the other. My experience is that compelling scenics will sell, however well composed city skyline images can do extremely well. Nicely executed composites are salable if you have a great concept, and if you have excellent compositing skills. 

89434r

I have found that standard views of well known places may well become best sellers. The images must be well composed, clean and taken in attractive light. 

Marketing Your Panoramas

Working with a specialty panoramic stock agency can be very helpful. I am under contract with Panoramic Images (Doug Segal, President).

Other options for marketing your panoramic images are increasing and well worth investigating. Here are a few that come to mind;

Stocksy 

500px Prime 

I suggest you also set up a section of your website to show off your panoramas. My website is tightly focused on my panoramic work.

74189r

Mastering the Panoramic Medium

The rules of composition for panoramas are no different from standard formats. I have found that one point perspective to be especially effective with panos. The Golden Mean or Golden Ratio is a powerful tool. For years, I used a Golden Mean grid over the ground glass of my V-Pan 617 MKIII panoramic view camera. 

Learning More

The varied technical aspects of panorama shooting are beyond the scope of this article, but stay tuned as I plan to follow up soon with more information on the subject! 

About the Guest Contributor

richardsiskr

Twenty one years ago, I began a voyage to photograph the American landscape with high-resolution panoramic cameras. I used several cameras for this project, including the Fuji G617, the V-Pan 617 Mark III and more recently, high resolution Canon digital cameras and an advanced panoramic device called the Seitz VR-Drive.

There have been many moving moments during this long journey. However, the people I met along the way, have been the greatest source of inspiration throughout my travels.

I wish you the best with your own dreams, photography and adventures of discovery.

Richard Sisk – www.richardsiskproductions.com

Aug 042014
 

“One of the features in HDR Expose 3 our customers tell us outperforms our competition is the Merge Key Frame feature that makes de-ghosting amazingly accurate. In this image, taken after sunset, of a young couple drinking in Half Dome at Yosemite’s Glacier Point gives a great illustration. In the middle of frame of the three-frame bracket sequence the young woman on the right turned her head to look at her boyfriend. I selected a frame where she was looking at Half Dome as the key frame and Expose 3 eliminated the movement. Really neat!”

– John Santoro

“The following image,  of Half Dome at sunset, shows HDR Expose 3 delivering truly natural HDR processing results.”

To read full article please click the link below:

unifiedcolor logo

Couple-At-Half-Dome-570

Image by John Santoro

To download the trial version or to order, click here or on the image below.
Be sure to enter discount code: “HDR360pro” to save 10% on HDR Expose 3.1

hdr-expose-32-float-3

May 252014
 
Click the image below to view the Immersive HDR panorama:

vrGC2

May 252014
 

In this webinar photographer Richard Sisk demonstrates how to create stunning HDR Panoramas using the new Pano Prep Batch Processing feature in HDR Expose 3.1 and 3rd party stitching applications.

httpvh://youtu.be/tVGgPgiBWCM

httpvh://youtu.be/Wir1UbBR5Tk

Oct 292013
 

hdr-expose-32-float-3

Unified Color to add HDR pano processing in HDR Expose 3.1

Creating an HDR panorama can be difficult… The big problem is that nearly all HDR software calculates HDR tone mapping by measuring the white point and black point within a set of bracketed set of images. When creating an HDR panorama you will have several bracketed sets and since each set may vary in this regard, the resulting panorama stitch will produce inconsistent results. Now for those of us who create panos, Unified Color is planning to release an update to HDR Expose 3 that will solve this problem. The software will look at an entire set of bracketed images and calculate an overall white and black point as the basis for tone mapping.  Stay tuned for more information about this great new feature from Unified Color.

HDR Photography | Photo Editing Software & Programs by Unified Color

Sep 232013
 

This VR Tour HDR image was processed in HDR Expose 3 from Unified Color.

HDR Photography | Photo Editing Software & Programs by Unified Color

By the way, you can click full screen after the “Little planet” introduction. Be sure to have your speakers on…

 Thanks to Robert Barnes for posting a link to this VR Tour on his fine blog:

BGB • BARNES GALLERY BLOG | Behind the Scenes at Barnes Gallery

Thanks also to John Santoro for posting a link to this VR Tour on the Unified Color Website and Blog:

A Fantastic VR Minute – HDR In Motion

VR Tour © 2013 Richard Sisk

May 092013
 
Shooting a Massive Gigapixel Panorama of the Manhattan Skyline

Welcome to JHirschfeld.com
Apr 252013
 

HDR Panorama Tutorial – PhotoEngine & Autopano

Oloneo

Nov 142012
 

There are many things to like about the LizardQ!

First of all it is fast, second your iPhone may be used as the remote and third it is built like the professional tool that it is.

If you do VR photography on a high volume time critical basis, the LizardQ may very well serve your needs.

httpvh://youtu.be/dibZoCN0H_U

LizardQ is a professional camera system for quickly and automatically creating panoramic or full spherical (360°×180°)

images with high resolution and high dynamic range (HDR).

A professional digital camera with a precision-aligned fisheye lens provides high-quality raw images.

Our high-performance software automatically creates the panoramic or full spherical image from the raw data.

http://www.lizardq.com

Jul 202012
 
This presentation looks best in 1080p and fullscreen

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3oRHDrgBQHY

In this presentation by B&H Photo, Artyom Kamshilin from Promote Systems will help you get started with panoramic photography in High Dynamic Range. This presentation will cover gear choice, field techniques, and useful tips and tricks. A software post processing demo is given by panoramic photographer Joergen Geerds.

Apr 272012
 

This is obvious but essential. As tempting as it may be to shoot free hand (or from the hip),if you want good, sharp HDR images you need to stabilize your camera. Ideally, use a sturdy tripod, or in a pinch, set the camera down on a solid surface.

 

 

Second, some of your over exposed frames need to capture shadow details and you may actually be shooting at shutter speeds so long that you can have difficulties holding the camera steady. So in addition to creating problems aligning frames that shifted due to the camera changing position between frames, you may also have frames that are blurry due to long exposure times. These will have a negative affect on the merge process and image sharpness.In addition to a sturdy tripod or solid surface to mount the camera, you will also want to minimize any movement caused by you touching the camera between shots. This can be accomplished a number of ways, the easiest of which is to use the self timer or a cable release trigger to fire the camera. Another option that several professionals use is Promote Remote www.promotesystems.com. This device plugs-in to your camera and actually takes over the bracketing and exposure controls. This is a huge benefit for Canon shooters with cameras that only support 3 shot bracketing.Of course if you really want to get picky and you are shooting with a D-SLR, you’ll mount the camera on a weighted tripod with a sturdy ball head, put the camera in Mirror-Up mode and use the cable release or Promote Remote to fire the camera. This adds an extra delay between the moment the mirror goes up and when the shutter opens, reducing any additional vibration caused by the mirror flipping up and down.Don’t forget, if you are using Vibration Reduction, Image Stabilized or Steady Shot lenses, turn this feature off when the camera is attached to a tripod. You don’t want to induce lens movement when the camera isn’t moving.There are some promising new camera and sensor technologies on the horizon that will allow for very fast sequential exposures that may eventually get us to the point of having a virtual 1-click HDR series that can be captured freehand without the need for a tripod. Until then, its better to not hold your breath and just use the reliable tripod.

 

Feb 062012
 

“This week it was a real thrill for me to host a live webinar with photographer Richard Sisk to talk about HDR panoramic photography. Richard has been shooting panos professionally for many years and was able to share some of his legacy work as well as tips and techniques for creating digital HDR panoramas.”

John Omvik, Vice President of Marketing, Unified Color Technologies

HDR Panorama Photography with Richard Sisk Parts 1 &2 recorded on 1/31/2012

This presentation looks best in full screen.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89LHQ51XEZw

.

“In this next tutorial photographer Richard Sisk shares his tips and techniques for creating stunning HDR Panoramas. In part 2 of 2 Richard demonstrates how he processes his stitched and merged 32-bit HDR Panoramas using HDR Expose 2.”

John Omvik, Vice President of Marketing, Unified Color Technologies

This presentation looks best in full screen.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jYaBj1FkK0

Community

Save 20% on the new HDR Expose 2 by clicking the link below:

HDR Expose 2 » HDR360pro.com

Coupon code: “HDR360pro” saves 20% on HDR Expose 2.

Download the free trial now!

The making of HDR panoramas by, Zsolt Zsigmond

 HDR Images, HDR Info, HDR Panorama, HDR Software, HDR Styles  Comments Off on The making of HDR panoramas by, Zsolt Zsigmond
Nov 202011
 

Zsolt Zsigmond has put together a very comprehensive tutorial on his methods for creating HDR panos.

Please see the link below:

realityDream

May 102011
 

David Giral is one of my favorite HDR pro photographers! Take a look at this tutorial and you will see why:

[vimeo width=”560″ height=”340″]http://vimeo.com/23281525[/vimeo]

This presentation looks best in full-screen.

HDR video “Making Of” : The Lexus on Broadway Avenue in New York, NY | David Giral Photo Blog | A blog about HDR, travel and portrait photography | Photoshop Retouching Tutorials and tips

Event, Real Estate, Travel and Portrait Photographer | Actors Headshots | Montreal, Los Angeles, NYC | David Giral

Apr 242011
 

GigaPan EPIC Pro Robotic Camera Mount Gains New Functions – HotHardware


Nov 152010
 

This was an image that I made with the Canon 5D and Seitz VR Drive during a trip to Colorado in the fall of 2007. Recently, I noticed that I had never processed this HDR panorama. So, I thought I’d try using some new software. I used DXO Optics Pro 6 to process the RAW files. I did this to eliminate chromatic aberrations and to reduce image noise. For stitching, I used the latest beta version of Autopano Pro from Kolor, which has a fabulous new stacking feature. It stacks the bracketed exposures and then stitches them in perfect registration. I used HDR Expose to merge the three resulting files. Finally I did some post processing in Photoshop CS5 and the Viveza2 Photoshop plug-in from Nik.

Kolor, AutoPano Pro – Panorama stitching software – Panoramic photo software – image stitching

Nik Viveza 2, Precise Selective Photo Editing

See it here, Richard Sisk Productions

This HDR image does not look like an HDR and that is intentional!
.