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.

Plans, Ideas and Concepts

Today I have been giving consideration as to where I want to do my shoots for my project. I have been thinking along the lines of places that I like to visit and seek refuge in. I like to take a drive at the weekend, usually to the countryside, so that I can escape the hustle & bustle of the city and escape the stresses of the week. Favourite places of mine to visit are English Heritage properties and those of the National Trust. After looking at other photographers who have captured landscapes, I have certainly been inspired to capture images within a country setting. Catherine Nelson’s images have really inspired me to go forward with this idea.

I will be taking my camera out with me tomorrow and doing some more shoots, as I definitely need more practice taking the shots and making sure that I get my exposure correct and I definitely need more practice on the software. From here I will be able to access if this is the best way forward.

Practice Shoot at Boscobel House & Gardens

Yesterday I spent a pleasant day at Boscobel House in the West Midlands and we were also treated to the displays from the nearby airshow, which was something unexpected. I seized this opportunity to refamiliarise myself with taking 360º panoramic shots.

In the past I have always shot in landscape orientation but after reading some of the tips that I found online, I decided that I would follow the advice and shoot in portraiture mode, as this enables you to capture more of the sky (zenith) and the ground (nadir)

“To build a 360°x180° panorama you have to take pictures on all directions, but not only on the horizon. You should also shoot the sky (zenith) and the ground (nadir)” (Duret-Lutz, n.d.)

Armed with my camera I proceeded to take my shots. At this stage I am capturing my shots hand held but this may need to be considered later on in the process.

Images obtained

The following settings were used:

  • “M” mode (Manual)
  • 1/500s
  • f 11
  • Focal length 12mm
  • ISO 200

When I got home I stitched the photos together using the Hugin Software to create a Equirectangular image. This took me longer than I had anticipated as I had not used the software for a while and had to keep on referring back to my notes. Hopefully throughout my Major Project I will become more accustomed to the software and it will become second nature.

Screen Shot of Stitching

Screen Shot

Equirectangular Image

Equirectangular

Stereographic Image

Stereographical

All Images ©Richard Brochu-Williams. All rights reserved.

Reflection

I am pleased that I have managed to achieve another stereographical image, the software took a little time to get used to again but I don’t see this being a problem within my project. Looking at the final image, I have realised that I need to consider my camera settings more carefully. The above picture has a lot of blown out highlights and this doesn’t make for a professional looking image that would be suitable for my Final Major Project. Looking back, it was a particularly bright day and maybe adjusting my aperture or shutter speed settings to compensate for this would have been good practice or even using my ND Filter.  I was unable to use my ND filter due to the fact that it only fits my 18-200mm lens and not my 12mm-24mm wide-angle lens as the thread on the ND filter is ø67mm and my wide-angle lens has a thread of ø77mm. I have also considered shooting later on in the day, maybe dusk. More experimentation is needed to achieve better & higher quality results.

References

Duret-Lutz, A. (n.d.). Wee planets. [online] Flickr. Available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/gadl/sets/72157594279945875/# [Accessed 9 Jun. 2014].

Practice Shoot

Now that I have my Planning Folder completed and ready for hand-in, I have decided that I am going to do a practice shoot tomorrow, so that I can re-familiarise myself with the software that I will be using to create my stereographical images.

For my Final Major Project I have decided to explore landscapes and places that are in someway of importance to myself. I will be looking at the areas in which I live, work and study in, and also the places that I enjoy visiting.

Instead of capturing the images as they are seen through the lens, I will be manipulating them in postproduction to create an entirely new and original image that will enable the viewer to observe the landscape in an entirely different and unique way. Each image will be a stereographic representation of the landscape.

These will be created by using 360º equirectangular panoramic images. I am aiming to create 6 images for the exhibition and these will be displayed as separate images. I will be experimenting with the layout and if I decide that the images work better as a combined piece of work, then consolidation of the images into one final piece could be another option. This all depends on the images that I manage to capture and which idea will showcase my work to its full potential.

I am hoping that the weather will be kind to me and I am looking forward to my shoot tomorrow.

 

Instagram #Frame

Whilst awaiting to embark on my Final Major Project which begins next month, I have still been posting images onto my Instagram page with the Hashtag #Frame.

Soon we will will be given another keyword (hashtag) and uploading new images. Here is a selection of the images that I have uploaded:

All images © Richard Brochu-Williams

All Rights reserved

Images can be viewed at brochuwilliamsphotography on Instagram

Change

change [cheynj]

verb (used with object), changed, chang·ing.

to make the form, nature, content, future course, etc., of (something) different from what it is or from what it would be if left alone: to change one’s name; to change one’s opinion; to change the course of history.

to transform or convert (usually followed by into ): “The witch changed the prince into a toad.”

to substitute another or others for; exchange for something else, usually of the same kind: She changed her shoes when she got home from the office.

to give and take reciprocally; interchange: to change places with someone.

to transfer from one (conveyance) to another: “You’ll have to change planes in Chicago.”

Reference

Dictionary.com, (2014). “Change”. [online] Available at: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/change?s=t [Accessed 28 Apr. 2014].

As part of Practice 2 we were given a word, this word was “Change” and we had to think about and consider what this word meant and how it could be applied into our current practice and our work at present.

When I thought about the word “Change” it made me think about the landscapes that I was photographing and how I was changing them with the use of digital software. I was taking shots of landscapes and transforming them into stereographic images. By doing this I was totally altering and changing the landscapes and the way that they would be observed and perceived by the viewer. Taking this into account I decided that I would be combining both the “Change” project with my ongoing practice as this seemed to make the most sense. As well as my stereographic images I have also been experimenting with the 360º landscapes and the slightly more abstract images that I posted on here on 24th April entitled “Patterns within the Landscape“.

Whilst thinking about “Change”, I’m very sure that my work will do just that over the next couple of months whilst I undertake some new experimentations with my photography and try to discover new ways to take and adapt my images.

#Frame

Here are a few more images that I have added to my Instagram as part of the #frame project. It has been interesting looking at objects around me and trying to find something that fits into this mini project. It has certainly made me more alert to what is around me.

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All images © Richard Brochu-Williams, All rights reserved.

#frame #maphoto #uhcreatives

I am happy with the images that I have uploaded to Instagram and I feel that they meet the brief that we were given as a group. I hope to find some more suitable images before the hand in date (30th April, 2014). My particular favourites out of the above 4, are the first image and the last. The first image I think captures and frames the landscape well and it runs along with the current theme of landscapes that I have been working on. The last image I like because of its abstract look and I am fond of the colour and the patterns within the image.

References

Instagram.com, (2014). brochuwilliamsphotography on Instagram. [online] Available at: http://instagram.com/brochuwilliamsphotography [Accessed 25 Apr. 2014].

Patterns within the Landscape

I have been continuing on observing the landscape around me and admiring the shapes, colours and textures that we find surrounding us everyday in the landscape. Sometimes the landscape can be influenced by man but this is not necessarily a bad thing and can add that extra something to the image. The images that I have been concentrating on at the moment are images that have little or no impact from man, although it is debatable that even the most desolate places on earth are somehow impacted on by man.

Just a few experiments to open up my eyes to a new way of seeing the landscape that surrounds me.

 

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© Richard Brochu-Williams

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© Richard Brochu-Williams

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© Richard Brochu-Williams

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© Richard Brochu-Williams

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© Richard Brochu-Williams

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© Richard Brochu-Williams

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© Richard Brochu-Williams

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© Richard Brochu-Williams

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© Richard Brochu-Williams

 

All images © Richard Brochu-Williams, All rights reserved.

Landscapes and Textures

As a slight change to my approach to landscape photography, I decided to look at what was surrounding me and look at the textures and patterns within the landscape. This was a new and interesting approach to the way that I usually photograph the landscape around me.

Here are some of the images that I came up with, most are in black and white, as I think that this shows more contrast within the images and enables you to see the textures a little easier. A few I have kept in colour as I thought that it worked better for these images.

 

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© Richard Brochu-Williams

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© Richard Brochu-Williams

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© Richard Brochu-Williams

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© Richard Brochu-Williams

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© Richard Brochu-Williams

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© Richard Brochu-Williams

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© Richard Brochu-Williams

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© Richard Brochu-Williams

 

All images © Richard Brochu-Williams, All rights reserved.

I particularly like the first black and white image, as I think that the contrast shows off the textures within the image well.

A Walk Around Cornwall

I have had a lovely Bank Holiday Monday, walking the coastal paths and taking a visit to Land’s End. I managed to take some landscape pictures but as of yet have not had the time to edit them. I hope to have some ready for tomorrow but I did manage to do some more 360º panoramic shots, even though I forgot to bring my tripod with me, therefore I have had to make do with hand held.

 

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360º Panoramic, St Just, Cornwall © Richard Brochu-Williams

 

The above panoramic was made from around 12 hand held shots and I couldn’t resist making another “Small Planet” image – entitled “A Walk Around Cornwall”.

 

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“A Walk Around Cornwall” © Richard Brochu-Williams

 

Whilst making the above image I encountered a new problem with the Hugin Software (my fault, not the software’s). The problem was that my files would not save big enough and became increasingly pixelated, no matter what size image I started off with and even trying to save them in TIFF format and uncompressed….I was still coming across the same problem. After 2 hours of perseverance, I discovered that the canvas size was set incorrectly…something I will keep an eye on in future!