Ready for Assessment

I have spent much of this morning putting up my images and I am pleased with the way that they look. I had a few hiccups along the way with aligning them correctly and making sure that they were straight but I seem to have overcome this now.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Now all that is left to do is to give my presentation later this afternoon. Hopefully my nerves will not get in the way!

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Finals & Artist Statement

Anthropogenic Impact on the Environment

 

 

For this project I have decided to concentrate on the theme of landscapes, a subject that I am passionate about. Each of the 6 images shows a “stereographical” interpretation of a particular type of landscape.

I have chosen to photograph landscapes that are not conventionally perceived as beautiful and have moulded them with the aid of digital manipulation to make them unapologetically abstract and give the viewer a new take on the landscape that they have been invited to view.

The images show a compacted landscape, an encapsulated environment and I chose to make them spherical to convey a planet. Each image in turn shows man’s influence within each landscape and how as a species we are changing the environment around us to our own advantage and means.

These images are not meant to convey either a positive or a negative message, just an interpretation of how we are shaping the environment around us.

 

Richard Brochu-Williams

Dungeness Power Station, Kent, 2014 © Richard Brochu-Williams

West Cambridge Site, University of Cambridge, 2014 © Richard Brochu-Williams

Sheltered Scheme, Cottenham, Cambridgeshire, 2014 © Richard Brochu-Williams

Rickney’s Quarry, Nr Ware, Hertfordshire, 2014 © Richard Brochu-Williams

Madingley Reservoir (Covered), Cambridgeshire, 2014 © Richard Brochu-Williams

Sizewell A & B, Suffolk, 2014 © Richard Brochu-Williams

 

Shoot & Reshoot

Today I decided to go out and do a reshoot of the Schlumberger Gould Building on the West Site in Cambridge, as the weather proved to give me the perfect setting. I am hoping that I can obtain a better image from this shoot and will be experimenting with stitching the images together tomorrow. I also decided to try and shoot at other locations. The first location was at Madingley Reservoir. Despite it’s name there seemed to be no evidence of any water or a reservoir that I could see but I did not venture in too far as there were warnings of CCTV in operation and I was not sure how safe the area was. I primarily went there because I had spotted some kind of transmission mast and this is what I was interested in. I also travelled to Burwell, where there is a sub station but I did not end up shooting there as there were too many obstacles in my way, mainly trees.

 

Madingley Reservoir

 

Madingley Reservoir

Madingley Reservoir © Richard Brochu-Williams

Madingley Reservoir

Madingley Reservoir © Richard Brochu-Williams

Madingley Reservoir

Transmission Mast © Richard Brochu-Williams

 

I shall be stitching and editing the images from the shoot tomorrow to see if I have obtained anything that will be worthwhile keeping for my final project.

 

Editing

Today has been a day for editing some of the images that I have obtained over the last couple of weeks. I have not accomplished much today despite my efforts, as my computer decided that it did not want to play ball and proceeded to freeze on me a couple of times whilst I was in the process of editing. Fortunately for me, I managed not to loose the work after having to reboot my computer, so that was a huge relief for me.

The editing consisted of tidying up the images where the stitching had not been applied properly. In most cases this is due to the parallax.

Parallax in Photography

Parallax error can be seen when taking photos with many types of cameras, such as twin-lens reflex cameras and those including viewfinders (such as rangefinder cameras). In such cameras, the eye sees the subject through different optics (the viewfinder, or a second lens) than the one through which the photo is taken. As the viewfinder is often found above the lens of the camera, photos with parallax error are often slightly lower than intended, the classic example being the image of person with his or her head cropped off. This problem is addressed in single-lens reflex cameras, in which the viewfinder sees through the same lens through which the photo is taken (with the aid of a movable mirror), thus avoiding parallax error.

Parallax is also an issue in image stitching, such as for panoramas

(Wikipedia, 2014)

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Editing in CS6 to correct stitching errors

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Editing in CS6 to correct stitching errors

I have a little way to go before my images are finished but I believe that paying attention to detail will pay off in the long run and I can be a bit of a perfectionist. Tomorrow I will be having a Photoshop Seminar with photographer Holger Pooten and hopefully he will be able to give me some advice and show me some new techniques. Here’s hoping that tomorrow will be a productive day!

References

Wikipedia, (2014). Parallax. [online] Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parallax [Accessed 28 Jul. 2014].

Schlumberger Gould Research Centre

Today I took a walk to the Schlumberger Gould Research Centre to do a shoot for my project. I chose to go today, as I had the opportunity to go there at the optimal shooting time (between 12pm-3pm) and the weather was suitable. I am hoping to obtain a good enough set of panoramic images for stitching into a panorama. The Schlumberger building is an interesting looking building and despite living only a mile away from it and seeing it on a daily basis, I had absolutely no idea what the function of the building was or what it was used for until I did some research afterwards.

“The Schlumberger Gould Research Center (SGR) on the western outskirts of Cambridge, England, is a distinctive marquee-like structure housing multidisciplinary research teams of more than 100 scientists and technicians. Research focuses on drilling, chemistry, fluid mechanics, and seismics, through a combination of theory, experiment, and computational simulation.

Founded in 1982 as Schlumberger Cambridge Research under the leadership of Bernard Vivet, the center was renamed as Schlumberger Gould Research at an inauguration ceremony on October 4th, 2012 in recognition of the retiring Chairman and CEO, Andrew Gould, and his career long commitment to research and development.

With a strengthened focus on drilling, the company is now embarking on the development of the integrated drilling technologies needed in the future to produce oil and gas safely, efficiently, and with the required environmental care. The Schlumberger Gould Research Center is expanding to become the primary company research facility for these developments.”

(Slb.com, 2014)

Charles Babbage Road

Charles Babbage Road, Location of Schlumberger Building © Richard Brochu-Williams

Schlumberger Building

Schlumberger Building © Richard Brochu-Williams

I took several panoramas whilst visiting the Schlumberger Building and I am hoping that I will be able to produce a good image from these. I will be editing and stitching tomorrow.

References

Slb.com, (2014). Gould Research Center, Schlumberger. [online] Available at: http://www.slb.com/about/rd/research/sgr.aspx [Accessed 27 Jul. 2014].

Kirby Muxloe

I have been taking advantage of the good weather that we have been having and I travelled to Leicestershire to practice some more panoramic shots. This shoot was not the urban landscape that I have been photographing of late but it was a good opportunity for me to practice my technique and to keep myself familiar with the software that I am using. I find that if I do not do this on a regular basis, when I come back to use the software, it takes me twice as long to achieve my desired results because I have forgotten how to do certain things. By regularly practising, I become accustomed to what I am doing and I find that I work more efficiently.

Kirby Muxloe has a wonderful castle and this was the setting for this shoot. I really enjoy visiting castles and I am enticed by the architecture. The sense of history and what has gone on inside these magnificent constructions really draws me in.

The well known British proverb “An Englishman’s home is his castle” meaning: An English person’s home is a place where they may do as they please and from which they may exclude anyone they choose, strikes a chord with me and I think that my castle images work well with the stereographic format, as this provides an environment of it’s own for the castle, suggesting further that not only is the castle a place of privacy but it can be encapsulated in it’s own little world, providing a kind of private retreat.

I am continuing to photograph castles alongside my urban landscapes and I shall be comparing the two, to see which images have produced the best results.

Kirby Muxloe Castle, 360º Equirectangular Panorama

Kirby Muxloe Castle, 360º Equirectangular Panorama, © Richard Brochu-Williams

Kirby Muxloe Castle, Stereographic Projection

Kirby Muxloe Castle, Stereographic Projection © Richard Brochu-Williams

I was pleased with the results that I achieved during the weekend at both Kirby Muxloe, Leicestershire & Rickney’s Quarry, Hertfordshire. It was certainly a productive weekend.

References

Oxforddictionaries.com, (2014). an Englishman’s home is his castle: definition of an Englishman’s home is his castle in Oxford dictionary (British & World English). [online] Available at: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/an-englishman’s-home-is-his-castle [Accessed 22 Jul. 2014].

Framlingham Castle

On my way to visit Sizewell, I took a detour and visited Framlingham Castle in Suffolk. It is a lovely place to visit and whilst taking a well deserved break I took the opportunity in taking some images to produce a stereographic image of the castle and it’s surroundings.

 

stereo_framlingham_castle

Framlingham Castle, Suffolk © Richard Brochu-Williams. All rights reserved.

 

The above image was made by stitching 15 different photographs together to make an equirectangular image and was then edited using the Hugin software.

Sizewell

Yesterday I visited Sizewell and took some images in preparation for my Final Major Project. I was happy with the images that I obtained for my stereographic, 360º panorama but I have not had chance to work on them yet, so I am keeping my fingers crossed that the images I have are sufficient. Below are some images of the environment that I was working in.

 

Sizewell

Sizewell Tea © Richard Brochu-Williams

Sizewell Beach

Sizewell Beach © Richard Brochu-Williams

Sizewell Beach

Sizewell Beach © Richard Brochu-Williams

Sizewell A & B

Sizewell A & B © Richard Brochu-Williams

Sizewell A

Sizewell A © Richard Brochu-Williams

 

All images © Richard Brochu-Williams. All rights reserved

 

I am looking forward to working on my main image and seeing what results I can achieve. Hopefully there will be no need to revisit this site but if I have to, at least it is not too far away. I have left myself enough time for reshoots if they are necessary.

Test Shoot 3

I decided that I wanted to do another test shoot so that I could become more confident at stitching my images together and using the software efficiently. I drove out to a nature reserve near to my home and decided to shoot there.

These are the 16 images that I obtained:

The following pictures show some of the editing processes that I went through to obtain one final image.

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As you can see in the above image, the stitching had not worked as well as I had hoped. Therefore I decided to tidy up the image in Photoshop.

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  • I selected the part of the pavement that had not lined up correctly by using the pen tool.

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  • I then copied (via layer) and placed the new layer where the missing path was.

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  • I then used the transform tool to make the new layer blend in

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  • Finally the clone tool is used to remove the part of the path that is no longer needed

A similar process was used in another part of the image. This can be observed in the 3 images below:

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  • Selection made using pen tool and new layer created via copy

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  • Warp tool used to move pavement

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  • Old part of pavement has been removed using the clone tool

Final Equirectangular Image

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Photoshop Process

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After image has been transformed into a stereographic projection, there is a noticeable hole in the centre of the image. This will need to be fixed. This is done by selecting an area of existing road from the image and copying it into a new layer, which is then placed over the hole and blended in for a seamless look.

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  • Layer placed over hole

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  • Final screen shot after blending

Final Image

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Reflection

Looking at the final image after it had been completed I could see that it was not as perfectly spherical as I would have liked. I went back to see if I could make improvements on my stitching but I was not having much luck and I even tried different software. The person that was with at the time of taking the photograph had stated that the area was a little hilly and there was an area that would have been better suited for me to take my pictures from. This was the “viewpoint area” and there was a signpost for it, which I had missed. In the future, I will have to take any hills / slopes into consideration and maybe adjusting my horizon line may have worked in this instance. I’m glad that I have found this out now rather than later into the project, as this is something that I can possibly rectify whilst on the shoot. This shoot definitely turned out to be a learning curve.

References

Morris, S. (2014). How To Stitch Together a Panorama in Photoshop Manually. [image] Available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TN6jQn2F5nk [Accessed 23 Jun. 2014].

Test Shoot 2

Yesterday I decided to do another test shoot and this time I was a lot more careful with my settings than I was on my last shoot. I set everything on my camera to manual mode, including the focus. The following settings were used:

  • f/10
  • 1/125s
  • 200 iso
  • 12mm focal length

I shot at 4.45pm when the sun was not so bright and luckily for me it was a much cloudier day than my previous shoot.

On this shoot I took a total of 18 pictures but when I tried stitching them together I was coming up against a lot of problems. I reassessed the images and decided that 2 of them were not required and omitted them, which left me with a total of 16 images to stitch together. This was the same amount that I used for my last panoramic image, therefore I think that I have found that 16 is the ideal number of images to be working with.

I came up with a few more problems whilst working on this stitch and it took me a total of 4 attempts but overall I found the process easier.

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Stitching process.

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Image stitched, ready for 180º rotation and to be worked on in Photoshop.

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Image placed into Photoshop. As you can see, after the stitching process the image does not line up correctly. This is corrected in photoshop with the use of the clone tool.

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Finally, you will notice that the water fountain has not lined up correctly and will need to be worked on.

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This is done by copying the fountain from the original image, resizing it and placing it over the incorrectly lined up fountain.

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The fountain is then blended in by colour matching the grass and using a mask.

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The image is then enhanced by adjusting the levels, highlights, shadows and saturation.

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The image is then turned from a 360º equirectangular to a stereographic image.

Reflection

I am a lot happier with the outcome of this image than the image that i took the week before. My highlights are not blown out and I feel that I have edited this image to a higher standard. I particularly like the cloud details within this image as they make it look less flat. I am pleased that I have made progress and hope that as each day passes, that my images will improve even more.