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Friday, 02 February 2024


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Steve Wilkes has been doing his "Day to Night" series for a while now. Thousands and even tens of thousands of photos used to create a single image


"...Merged panoramas were a big deal when the capability first appeared in editing programs, but now that any smartphone can do the same thing automatically it's a bit passé..."

Although I do use the panorama feature in my phone I am more likely to do stitched panoramas taken with a DSLR using a short telephoto lens. The results are better because I have total control of the process. With a phone...not so much.

"Safely and legally", perhaps. Legally is more objective, nobody showed up to stop them so thay're probably fine there. I suppose "safely" means nobody was hurt? But even in much safer jumps from higher altitudes, people occasionally get hurt.

The composite photo is very cool, but also makes it look terrifically dangerous! It wouldn't have been safe to do it all at once, and I would guess few to none of the jumpers would have been willing to try that.

Oh, the link can be extracted in Developer mode in Safari:
Even the animated GIF:
Of course, there are technologies used on websites that can make this impossible. But in this case it's just more obfuscation.

Check out Pelle Cass, a photographer who takes composites to masterwork level. His work has appeared editorially in numerous publications. https://pellecass.com/work

It seems to me that composite / merged panoramas aren't so much passe as that they have become a pretty standard photography tool especially in landscape work. It is isn't novel anymore and isn't remarkable, or call attention to itself just for the technique. But id does enable the capture of images that can't really be made otherwise without sacrificing quality through cropping or by using specialized cameras.

I enjoy Architectural photography and certainly digital has made a lot of things possible from a practical point of view, rather than for technological reasons.

Before digital, perspective control meant using a camera firmly bolted to a tripod. For decent quality, this meant a 5x4 view camera, although there were some perspective control lenses for 35mm.

In a lot of places, unless you have been engaged professionally, tripods are banned, so a lot of Architectural photography, beyond the casual snapshot, was impossible for the casual visitor.

IBIS in my Olympus EM5 made photography in dark old Italian monuments doable, but perspective control had to be done in post production, due to a lack of PC lenses for this format. Being able to use slow shutter speeds meant I could lower the ISO levels and get decent results.

But the big step forward came when I started using a Nikon Z7 with adapted shift lenses.The incamera level makes hand holding these lenses doable. IBIS in this camera is pretty good and the sensor is good up to ISO3200 most of the time

But even better, I can usually get away with mounting a Z7 on a monopod with feet. IBIS takes care of the micro vibrations. This lets me do HDR sets and the results are as good as when I use the D850 on my solid old Manfrotto 055 tripod.

A big side effect of digital is that film is free, so I can try many more angles and compositions.

HDR is easy and almost automatic. I properly expose an interior and have enough dynamic range to keep some detail beyond the windows.

You've already found a decent workaround, but in case you'd like it for future use, that image's URL is https://6a7449e55a48463272cb-26152ce5eceea462121ed5443309ceba.ssl.cf1.rackcdn.com/Philadelphia_sports_adventure_photographer_photo_by_steve_boyle_bridge_day_photo_west_virginia_new_river_gorge_01.jpg

Says who?


For something extremely difficult with film, but easy with digital, I nominate the analemma. Dennis di Cicco managed it in 1978-9 by mounting his camera in a fixed position and taking a picture of the Sun at the same time of day, about a week apart, over the course of a year, on a single frame of film. I know of only one or two other successful film attempts. By combining digital images it's now a simple task.

The automotive photography of Sarel van Staden, https://sarel.myportfolio.com/ comes to mind. The lighting technique would work with film, but the learning curve to master it would not have been feasible with film, and would also prohibit the blending of all the images necessary for a final image.

[That looks like light-painting to me, albeit very well done. Light-painting actually had its big moment of popularity before digital was common. At PT we did an article on fiberoptic light-painting guns, as they were called, in the '90s. But maybe Sarel is using a different technique. --Mike]

Until digital became common I don't think I had ever seen a good photo of Aurora Borealis - at best just green smudges in the sky. Now Aurora photos are almost a cliché in landscape photography. I have never seen the real thing but I get the feeling the saturation in those photos has been turned up, like old postcards with over done blue sea or sky.

Follow-up to your reply regarding the automotive images. While light painting can achieve a very similar effect, it must be done in near darkness. Sarel utilized a technique he refers to as Focused Diffuse Lighting, where he uses a Godox AD200 with a metal 16" beauty dish covered with a milky white acrylic panel. He handholds this and fires it through a large handheld popup diffuser held a few inches from the surface of the car, creating the soft matte effect on the paint. He then blends multiple images of the desired parts in Photoshop. The advantage of this technique is that it can be done in daylight using high-speed sync. There's very little "how to" on the technique, most everything on YouTube covers the editing technique more that the actual shoot, but you can get an idea of diffuser and light placement from seeing the individual images assembled into the final image. From my limited efforts at the technique, I can say that it's physically tiring (but also rewarding) , balancing the weight of the light/dish combo with the large diffuser, and holding somewhat awkward positions for 30 or more shots to create each final image. The trick to doing it solo is to shoot tethered using an introvalometer, triggering from the laptop, then taking a series of 5 images at 3-5 second intervals, review and repeat. Just as I was getting a feel for the technique, a steady stream of obligations that arrived in parallel with Covid in 2020 has all but overrun discretionary time for any photography activities. By the time I'm freed up, AI will likely have made the technique unnecessary, as one can simply upload a single image and prompt it to return a result "in the style of". What's that you always say, "Oh well"

For architectural photos I must confess I have, when really necessary, used composite techniques to remove unwanted people. I actually prefer using them to add people in, though, even if it's just for a bit of fun!

01: https://www.flickr.com/photos/davemorris/53239953872/

02 https://www.flickr.com/photos/davemorris/4626742531/

"35mm and crop sensor digital?", in the "good old days" before photography got easy, you had to hide inside a stuffed ox to get a good picture!


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