Mesa Verde Kiva Panorama

I’m finishing up working on the images from Yellowstone, which I will post tomorrow. Meanwhile, here is a shot of a Kiva that I captured at Mesa Verde National Park:

Mesa Verde Kiva Panorama

Since I did not carry a fisheye lens with me at the time and I had the Nikon 24-70mm attached to the D700, I could not fit much into the frame. Setting up a tripod inside the Kiva was not an option either, since it would take up additional space making it even more difficult to capture this tight space. The solution I came up with, was to lean against the wall and shoot 8-10 vertical frames hand-held @ 24mm using ISO 1600 to create a panorama. One problem, however, was the fact that I would never be able to stitch a panorama if I moved my camera from one side to another (like I typically do) without worrying about the nodal point (if you do not know what a nodal point is or want to find out how to properly photograph panoramas, check out my “how to photograph panoramas” article). What I did was I used the hand-held panoramic technique, which is described in the above link in section 3.3 #10 of the article, where I held the middle of the lens and rotated around it.

As you can see, the panorama stitched perfectly fine!

  • Aaron Priest

    I’ve done that quite often Nasim and it works well when you are in a hurry or a tight space! Did you stitch it with PhotoShop or another program?

    Dabbled in HDR much lately? I’ve been experimenting with HDR Efex Pro (just released) and Photomatix Pro 4.0 (free upgrade for me). Hard to say which I like better. Each does a better job on certain images, so I guess I’ll have to keep them both! :-) I’m very impressed with the anti-ghosting of HDR Efex Pro though.

    • Nasim Mansurov

      Aaron, yes, I stitched it with Photoshop and it worked well :) I’m liking Photoshop more and more for panoramas, although it dies on me pretty often when I try to stitch more than 15-20 images…that’s with 12 GB of RAM!

      No, I have actually been doing a lot less HDR lately. If some of the images have an HDR feel to them, that’s because I have been adding some fill light in Lightroom to lighten up the shadows. Also, D3s seems to have a higher dynamic range than D700, especially when I “shoot to the right” (overexpose by a bit). Even direct, harsh shadows can be lightened up considerably by just dialing in 10-15 in Lightroom’s “Fill Light”.

      I have heard about HDR Efex Pro, but haven’t had a chance to try it out. I have heard that Photomatix is still better, but HDR is a very subjective topic I guess :D