Hatfield House Picnic

Yesterday was a beautiful day for a picnic, if not a little hot. We had the pleasure of meeting up in the park at Hatfield House and setting up a picnic to be photographed. This was a side project and was not strictly related to the work that we were producing for our final major project but it enabled us to bond as a group and gave us the opportunity to try and incorporate some of the styles, methodologies and techniques that we would be using within our major project. I decided to capture a 360º panoramic shot of Hatfield House and project this as a stereographic image.

Hatfield House - Stereographic

Hatfield House – Stereographic © Richard Brochu-Williams

Hatfield House - Equirectangular

Hatfield House – Equirectangular © Richard Brochu-Williams

This was also a good opportunity to capture more images to form part of our Instagram mini project (#picnicification). These can be seen below and also viewed at instagram.com/brochuwilliamsphotography.

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

When we had finished our picnic, I took a walk around the gardens of Hatfield House and took some photographs. There were plenty of sculptures to see and I was pleasantly surprised with how big the gardens actually were.

Photo Shoots

Over the last couple of days I have been busy organising photo shoots at various locations. My first location was at the University of Cambridge. I chose this location because there is currently a lot of building work taking place and I thought it would be a good opportunity to capture some landscapes of an industrial nature. The buildings that I photographed were a mixture of newly finished buildings and buildings that were still in the process of being built, therefore there were some cranes and other building paraphernalia around.

University of Cambridge

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West Cambridge, University of Cambridge © Richard Brochu-Williams

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West Cambridge, University of Cambridge © Richard Brochu-Williams

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West Cambridge, University of Cambridge © Richard Brochu-Williams

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West Cambridge, University of Cambridge © Richard Brochu-Williams

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West Cambridge, University of Cambridge © Richard Brochu-Williams

All images © Richard Brochu-Williams. All rights reserved

The buildings around the West Site of the University of Cambridge that I photographed are recent builds and in my opinion they are not the best looking buildings in the world. I tend to be more drawn towards older buildings like those that you will find in the centre of Cambridge, such as the old colleges (e.g. Kings College) as in my opinion these are more aesthetically pleasing. Not everyone will share the same opinion as me but I found these buildings a good example of how modern infrastructure shapes the environment around us.

Dungeness

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Dungeness, Kent © Richard Brochu-Williams

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Dungeness, Kent © Richard Brochu-Williams

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Dungeness, Kent © Richard Brochu-Williams

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Dungeness, Kent © Richard Brochu-Williams

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Dungeness, Kent © Richard Brochu-Williams

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Dungeness, Kent © Richard Brochu-Williams

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Dungeness, Kent © Richard Brochu-Williams

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Dungeness, Kent © Richard Brochu-Williams

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Dungeness, Kent © Richard Brochu-Williams

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Dungeness, Kent © Richard Brochu-Williams

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

When I arrived in Dungeness, I realised that I had arrived at the best time for my shoot, as the sun was directly above me and therefore did not get into any of my shots whilst shooting 360º. From this I have deduced that the optimal time to shoot is from the hours of 11.30am – 2.30pm whilst the sun is still high up in the sky.

What I liked about the shoot in Dungeness (apart from the fact it was a beautiful day) was the contrast between the nuclear power station and the surrounding buildings with the beautiful untouched environment of the beach and the sea. Hopefully this will be depicted within my images.

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.

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].

Artist Research – Catherine Nelson

Catherine Nelson is an artist/photographer from Sydney, Australia. In the past she has worked in film and television creating visual effects and has worked for films such as Moulin Rouge & Harry Potter. Her work has presented her with the opportunity to travel worldwide but she has since returned back to her own studio and dedicates much of her time to her own practice.

The work that I was intrigued by was from a series called “Future Memories”. The images within the series are compiled from many images that are stitched together and contain many assembled details.

Cloverdowns, © Catherine Nelson

Cloverdowns, © Catherine Nelson

Coast, © Catherine Nelson

Coast, © Catherine Nelson

Forster, © Catherine Nelson

Forster, © Catherine Nelson

Ghent, Lillies, © Catherine Nelson

Ghent, Lillies, © Catherine Nelson

All images © Catherine Nelson. All rights reserved.

These images are different to the other “small planet” images that I have viewed in the past, in the sense that they have a more dreamlike quality to them and they look as though they could have been painted rather than photographed. This may be due to the fact that Catherine studied Fine Arts and this could be an influence on the overall finished look. This is a look that I think works well and gives the images a more serene & surreal quality to them.

This series looks at what could possibly be “memories” of our planet sometime in the future. With concerns on environmental issues, overdeveloping, the cutting down of forests etc, we are destroying the planet at an alarming rate. These images could serve as a warning that if we do not act now that images such as these will truly be only memories. I really like the concept behind these images and I think that they really serve their purpose.

Catherine’s work is inspiring not only by the images being works of art in their own right but because of the concepts behind them. Catherine’s work can be viewed on her website.

References

Nelson, C. (2014). Catherine Nelson – Visual Artist. [online] Catherine Nelson – Visual Artist. Available at: http://catherinenelson.net/index.php [Accessed 12 Jun. 2014].

Experimenting with 360º Panoramas

Today I have been trying to experiment with 360º panoramic landscapes. There are a few problems that I have come across. The first being that I do not have a fish eye lens but I do have a wide angle lens (12mm) and I do not have a panoramic head but it is still possible to achieve some good results…I just haven’t got them yet.

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Nodal Ninja 4, Panoramic Head for tripod

I have been trying out new software (Hugin) but after trying to get to grips with it, watching tutorials and reading online, I have discovered that it is not too user friendly, or I am just simply daft! BUT I will persevere because I am stubborn but will give it a rest for today.

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Despite having done stereographic images in the past, I have not done 360º panoramic or equirectangular images, and these are the images that should be used when making stereographic images. I have just used landscape images and photoshopped them, but I would really like to try and do it the correct way and this will also be a new way of photographing for me, so this is a challenge that I am going to set myself.

However, I did manage a 360º panorama, not a very good one, but at least I achieved SOMETHING today. I have stitched the image together but I have not bothered to edit the image as it was just for experimentation.

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360º Panoramic Image © Richard Brochu-Williams

Below is an example of how Alexandre Duret-Lutz uses 360º equirectangular panoramic images to create his stereographic (Wee Planet) images.

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Stereographic | Equirectangular © Alexandre Duret-Lutz

References

Duret-Lutz, A. 2014. gadl. [online] Available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/gadl/ [Accessed: 4 Apr 2014].

Hugin. 2013. Hugin – Panorama photo stitcher. [online] Available at: http://hugin.sourceforge.net [Accessed: 4 Apr 2014].

Nodal Ninja. 2014. Panoramic Heads, VR Photography, Rotators, Levelers, Aerial Poles. [online] Available at: http://www.nodalninja.com [Accessed: 4 Apr 2014].

Panoguide. 2014. panoguide: the guide to panoramas and panoramic photography. [online] Available at: http://www.panoguide.com [Accessed: 4 Apr 2014].

Panohelp. 2014. Pano Help — Tips, techniques, and articles to help you create incredibly detailed panoramas. [online] Available at: http://www.panohelp.com [Accessed: 4 Apr 2014].