panorama software,virtual tour software
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Joined: 2005-07-07
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Nightshots - help appreciated!

Hi there,

I've just had my first shot at taking a night pano and I'm struggling to understand what to do. I've looked back over the tours here and the advice given in the past.  I took this test photo in a very dark area just outside of my house.  The yellow street lighting doesn't help but I'm struggling to know what I need to change on my D300 setup (I'm no photographer).

Here's the image.  Auto-focus was on (and I need to work that one out) but I struggled with the white balance - I had the cam set to incandescent.

Any help is much appreciated. I'm hoping to take a whole lot in a busy area of town which has much better lighting so this test shot can be ripped apart with critics and I'll be a happy boy.

I've had to reduce both images so there is distortion due to that. Panorama_small.jpg

I had a pop at editing with photoshop and this was the result - still not great! Panorama2_small.jpg

Thanks all
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Joined: 2002-11-23
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Where to start?

OK, you MUST shoot RAW so at least then you can adjust the White Balance after the fact correctly.

What you need is a White Balance reference such as Whibal, Colorright or Expodisc. Forget Gray cards as these are for "Exposure" not White Balance. White paper is a bodgy way to get within ball park but not very accurate. My preferance is the WhiBal card (although coloured Gray it is NOT a gray card but a neutral card) with the Colorright my in camera correction solution.

We can't take much from your samples as they are too small and far too compressed. What it does show is colour temperature and your temperature was way too hot. Colour (white balance) correction must be done before the stitch and all images must be the same temperature.

Ultimately you need to shoot with a higher ISO so your shutter speed can be reduced. Possibly you could also open your aperture also to something at a lower f/ number. This also will reduce your shutter speed (time open) say down from f/11.0 to say f/8.0.

Here is an example I shot a little while ago and it was with an Aperture of f/7.1 and an ISO of 800 over 9 brackets using my Canon.

As for your "Auto-Focus" though not recommended it will not be that detrimental to your final panorama. Manual focus would be better and you will find the "sweet spot" (Hyperfocal Distance) short of the "Infinity" symbol on the lens and most likely around the 1m mark. Once found you should lock it down and shoot all your images this way.

Good luck!

Regards, Smooth
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Joined: 2005-07-07
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As always, thanks Smooth. Have just bought a whibal card.