360x180° Panorama Tutorial - Pt.1: Shooting the images

Uploaded by elfloz on 08.01.2011

Hello and welcome to this tutorial about my 3 favorite panoramic shooting techniques.
My name is Florian and I run the website Pano.ie — you're very welcome to visit it.
Most of the panoramas on that website are shot using one of the following 3 techniques.
They all involve an 8mm fisheye lens.
This is a full frame camera,
So the first technique I'm going to show you is with the 8mm fisheye lens on a full frame camera.
The second and third technique
will involve a crop camera, because not everybody has a full frame camera.
Now, as with most
panoramic shooting techniques, you want to set your camera to manual mode.
That is manual exposure, manual focus
and manual white balance.
I've set up the camera to roughly match the current lighting situation, which is
quite dark actually,
so I'm running at ISO 800 — but not to worry.
so the trick about the first technique which is called "Philopod pitch variation technique" is
that you're actually not using a tripod. You want to be as fast as possible.
But how can you rotate your camera around the no-parallax point —
without a tripod . . . ?
Well, the trick here is that you attach
to the front of the lens . . . (If the camera focuses...)
As you can see, there's a piece of string attached the front of the lens,
and at the end of that string there's a coin. Something just to weigh the string down.
So this string and that piece on the bottom here is going to help me keep a reference,
keep the camera in the same spot as I turn around to take the different pictures.
So let's start. The idea of the "Philopod pitch variation technique"
(on a full from camera) is that you take 4 pictures
— one in each direction —
and that you are varying the pitch slightly up and down between shots.
So what I'm going to do is unfold the string
and hang it above the same spot on the ground. I'm not going to look so much at the camera,
I'm more looking at the string and the coin, so that it stays
above the same point on the ground.
At the moment I have the camera tilted slightly down
and I'm going to take the first picture here. [click]
Then I'm going to turn 90°, tilt the camera slightly up, keeping the coin above the same spot
on the ground, and [click] take the second picture.
Same thing — tilting the camera slightly down again
I'm taking another picture. [click] And then —
the last of the 4 pictures — point the camera slightly up again and take another picture. [click]
There we go.
If i hadn't explained that much I could have done this in less than 20s.
And, as I will show you in the second part of this tutorial, I will have a fully spherical panorama
with no tripod in it.
So what do you do if you don't have a full frame camera but a crop camera like this one here.
Well, I'm still using the same fisheye lens, and I'm also going to take 4 pictures, however
I'm going to take an additional two pictures: one up and one down.
But the idea remains the same.
Again, with the string hanging about the same point on the ground, I take 4 pictures.
This time however, I keep the camera straight, so just pointing straight at the horizon level.
[click] So here's image number 1 . . .
[click] Number 2 . . .
[click] Number 3 . . .
[click] 4 . . .
Now, carefully tilting the camera upwards, trying to keep it steady about the same point
I take one picture up. [click]
and then taking the cabling away, trying to stay above the same spot,
I'm going to take one picture down. [click]
That's it. We have taken six pictures. Again, if I wasn't babbling on that much I could have
done this in less than 20s.
If I'm inside a dark room or cathedral or so and I can't use the string technique because
exposure times would be too long, I'm going to use a tripod. So just for completeness sake,
I'll show you how to use a tripod and a panoramic head.
So here I am back again with a tripod and a panoramic head. This is the "Nodal Ninja 3"
which is perfectly fine for small cameras like this. It's compact, it's lightweight,
it's everything you need.
Setting up a tripod, what I try to do is keep an as small footprint as possible when you look down,
so I try to keep the legs fairly close together,
but so that it is still sturdy enough.
Pull out the center column all the way up . . .
There we go. (I should should have done this before.)
Just making sure the bubble level is roughly in the centre . . . There we go.
So the idea is to take 7 pictures:
One in each compass direction, one up, one down and one from a slightly different angle just
so I can remove the tripod afterwards.
Here we go. I've got the camera set to a much smaller ISO and the 2s delay mode
so there's no shake in it. First picture. [click]
Take the second picture, rotating 90°. [click]
Third picture, again 90° apart . . . [click]
The last picture . . . [click]
Coming back to the initial position, but now tilting the camera vertically up.
Getting my head out of the way . . . [click]
(There goes the church bell)
Pointing it vertically down, just as a reference
for the second shot I'm going to take off the ground . . .
Getting out of the way . . . [click]
Now, the last one is a bit special.
What I'm trying to do is to cover the area that is obstructed at the moment by the tripod.
So I try to remember a spot of on the ground. (If I had anything in my pockets
I would put something on the ground . . .) Don't have anything, so I just try to remember
a spot on the ground and I'm trying
to put the camera above that spot. Now, again, the thing here is
we're having long exposure times, so I still need to use the tripod.
So what I'm going to do is tilt the camera at an angle
and then I'm going to
tilt the tripod back, like so . . .
trying to keep it roughly above that spot on the ground . . .
then pull out an extra segment . . .
and stand on it.
That way
I can have a picture of that ground with the camera stabilized.
So there we go, here's that last picture. [click]
That's it.
I took 7 pictures all around, in each direction,
one up, one down, and another one from a slightly different perspective
to remove the tripod.
So there we go, these are the 3 techniques that I mostly use. Obviously, if I want a
higher-resolution panorama, I'm going to use a longer focal length lens because that'll increase
the overall resolution —
but I'll also need more shots.
Anyway, I hope you've learned something today.
As you can see, especially with the first technique if you're lucky to have the full frame camera
you can take a panorama in no time at all.
Thank you very much for your attention, I'll see you in the next tutorial when we're trying
to put these 3 panoramas together in PTGui. Thanks.