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  Sunday  April 18  2010    03: 14 PM


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I've been wanting to do panoramics for many years. I was first bit by the pano bug in 1992 when I saw a Seattle at night pano done with a Cirkut camera. I knew I wanted to do panos. After looking into the price of Cirkut cameras I knew I wasn't going to be doing panos with a Cirkut.

Shortly after that I bought a medium format pano head that rotated the camera around close to the nodal point of the lens. This was before stiching software. You printed out each print and mounted them together, seams and all. It was a period in my life of little money and I couldn't afford prints.

In 2002 I started using stitching software to mixed results. I was using medium format film, scanning and stitching. A lot of work and there were always problem areas. A couple of years ago I picked up Photoshop Elements 6 for it's pano stitching. It was a big improvement but still time consuming.

A few weeks ago I discovered the Panosaurus spherical pano head for digital cameras and the last piece of the pano puzzle fell into place. I had not considered a spherical pano head because of the cost but the Panosaurus is only $85. Woohoo! The instructions are a little confusing but I perservered and got it calibrated for my Panasonic G1 at 14mm (28mm equiv.) Now my Photoshop Elements 7 stitches are just about perfect. You have to pixel peep to find even the hint of a discontinuity.

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The G1 and Panosaurus ready for action.

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As soon as I finished calibrating the Panosaurus so it would rotate around the nodal point of the lens I took this pano of the world headquarters of gordy's camera straps.

I've also been wrapping my head around Photoshop Lightroom 2. It is a wonderful tool. It makes life a lot easier. I can do about 80% of what I need to do in Lightroom and then pop over to Photoshop if needed. I can also print from it which is working out well. These panos need to be printed larger. I have a couple of work prints that are almost 19" long which is the longest paper that fits in the tray. I'm going to cut down some 17x22 inch paper and I may get some roll paper to cut. The Honeymoon Bay pano at the top printed at 300 dpi and without downsizing would make a print 11x44 inches which I could print on my HP.