Here we have assembled a prototype two-part monopod suitable for repeated panoramic observation. One part is an inexpensive shaft driven into the ground where it remains as a permanent marker of both location and elevation of camera placement. The second part is a sleeve that fits over the shaft where it can rotate freely to any azimuth while holding the camera at a fixed elevation.
Here is a screen shot of a portion of that image as viewed in OSX Preview. You get a hint how individual frames have been placed and stretched. Each frame was typically exposed for 1/2 second at f32 (chosen for depth of field).
A week has gone by so we are ready for another capture. We return to the same stake in the ground, but this time with the small modification of a rotation guide.
Our 50mm lens in portrait orientation requires an exposure every 15 degrees of horizontal rotation for sufficient image overlap for the stitching software to work well. We constructed a 15 degree guide by folding a piece of paper diagonally first in thirds and then again in half. This divided the 90 degree corner by 3 then 2 to equal 15 degrees. We sniped this with scissors to make pointers out of the edge. This photo shows the guide installed on our WikiPod with the second fold unfolded.
We found that the 124 images captured this way stitched beautifully to make this panorama:
Exposure, focus and blur remain areas for improvement. These are our current thoughts:
Our first monopod employed a reasonably exotic articulated arm. We've redesigned the camera mount to be constructed from readily available hardware.
The plumbing pipe fails to attract attention among geeks to the same degree as the articulated arm. We took the newly completed prototype to DorkbotPdx where we had to drag people over to look at the setup. We were fortunate to run into WilliamAegerter who recounted his longtime interest in naturally inspired panoramic, macro and timelapse photography.
|Last edited April 27, 2010
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