Not all stitches are bad

A recent new pet trick I developed in my photography is merging of lots of photos into one. I don’t really know how to call it; Mass Merging or SuperStitching or something like that hahaha…

Through trial and error :( I now have developed a routine where I can quickly take fairly large sets of photos that I want to put together. It involves:

  1. roughly setting the zoom (focal length) of the lens to get rid of wide-angle distortion yet get enough coverage of the whole scene
  2. quickly scan the scene through the viewfinder to see how many photos I need and in what layout (single row in landscape or portrait orientation, or multiple rows)
  3. measure the exposure across the scene with a fixed aperture, then choose a nice middle one
  4. set aperture and exposure manually
  5. quickly take a lot of photos of the whole scene, making sure there’s plenty of overlap

Not having enough overlap is definitely the mistake I made (make?) most often and it’s bad for at least two reasons. Firstly, Photoshop needs overlap to align the photos when merging them and second, lenses tend to distort most at the edges; merging photos at the edges leads to ha-ha-funny but ho-ho-ugly artefacts along the stitch line.

Anyway… I’ve lost all non-photo geek readers (i.e. everyone) by now so I’ll just show what the end result can be. This is joined from a 3×3 grid of photos at 40mm focal length. The really-hi-res original is nearly 7000 by nearly 8000 pixels for 52 MP – I’ll save you that one. Click on the image below to see the reduced 3500 by 4000 image though (which is still smaller than a normal photo from my camera, so not that impressive).

Well -I- think this is cool :p!

2 thoughts on “Not all stitches are bad

  1. Wow your practice has paid off…that is an amazing result! Apart from the clouds, I can’t even tell that this is a collage of 9 different photos!

    Here’s an idea: Why don’t you submit this photo to Wikipedia? I’m sure a lot of people would enjoy this.

  2. Thanks :), it’s funny, every panorama or merge/stitch needs a different treatment, makes me feel useful, not just pushing a button in Photoshop.

    re your suggestion, I was thinking about it too, I can see pros and cons, and thanks for the encouragement :)

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