Stitched Pano Lesson for the Birds « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Stitched Pano Lesson for the Birds

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The two images for this stitched panorama were created with the with the tripod-mounted Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens, the 1.4X III TC, and the EOS-1D Mark IV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/320 sec. at f/11 in Manual mode after blinkies and histogram checks.

Lens/TC/camera body Micro-adjustment: +10.

Stitched Pano Lesson for the Birds

Sometimes you might find yourself too close to the bird. I have made a bunch of front-end portraits of this lovely Red-throated Loon as it sat peacefully on its nest near the road in Longyearbyen on my recent Svalbard, Norway trip. I wanted to create a nice low panoramic image of the bird. When I removed the TC I could not quite fit the bird in the frame so I created a series of images of the front end of the bird being sure to work in Manual mode and being sure not to change the focus once I was ready to photograph the rear of the bird.

Once I was on the laptop it was a simple matter of selecting the best front of the bird image and a nice back of the bird image. After I converted and saved the two images I went to Photoshop and hit File/Automate/Photomerge. I like to choose Reposition only. Then I hit OK, gave the image a minute to render, and then followed my basic digital workflow which of course included a healthy crop from both the top and the bottom. All of the above as described in detail in Digital Basics (a PDF that is sent via e-mail).

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Here is the front half of the bird. Note that I chose an image with a perfect head angle.

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And here is the rear half. No butt angle is involved. 🙂

Once I set the focus on the loon’s eye using rear focus I do not mess with the focus again. This assures a perfect match depth-of-field wise. Photoshop’s Photomerge does an amazing job of matching the details. the next time you get too close to a bird, try it; you’ll like it! By using this method rather than switching to a much shorter lens you will have an optimized file rich in fine detail that can be printed extremely large.

Shopper’s Guide

Below is a list of the gear used to create the image in today’s post. Thanks a stack to all who have used the Shopper’s Guide links to purchase their gear as a thank you for all the free information that we bring you on the Blog and in the Bulletins. Before you purchase anything be sure to check out the advice in our Shopper’s Guide.

Support both the Bulletins and the Blog by making all your B & H purchases here.

Canon 800mm f/5.L IS lens. Right now this is my all time favorite super-telephoto lens.
Canon 1.4X III TC. This new Series III TC is designed to work best with the new Series II super-telephoto lenses.
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV professional digital camera body. My two Mark IVs are my workhorse digital camera bodies.

And from the BAA On-line Store:

Gitzo GT3530LS Tripod. This one will last you a lifetime.
Mongoose M3.6 Tripod Head. Right now this is the best tripod head around for use with lenses that weigh less than 9 pounds. For heavier lenses, check out the Wimberley V2 head.
CR-80 Replacement Foot for Canon 800. When using the 800 on a Mongoose as I do, replacing the lens foot with this accessory lets the lens sit like a dog whether pointed up or down and prevents wind-blown spinning of your lens on breezy days by centering the lens directly over the tripod.
Double Bubble Level. You will find one in my camera’s hot shoe whenever I am not using flash.

The Lens Align Mark II. I use the Lens Align Mark II pretty much religiously to micro-adjust all of my gear an average of once a month and always before a major trip. Enjoy our free comprehensive tutorial here.

Delkin 32gb e-Film Pro Compact Flash Card. These high capacity cards are fast and dependable. Clicking on the link below will bring you to the Delkin web site. There is lots of great stuff there. If you see a product that we do not carry let us know via e-mail; we will be glad to have it drop-shipped to you and save you a few bucks in the process.

I pack my 800 and tons of other gear in my ThinkTank Airport SecurityTM V2.0 rolling bag for all of my air travel and recommend the slightly smaller Airport InternationalTM V2.0 for most folks. These high capacity bags are well constructed and protect my gear when I have to gate check it on short-hops and puddle jumpers. Each will protect your gear just as well. By clicking on either link or the logo below, you will receive a free gift with each order over $50.

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