(even more) GigaPan learnings

Spent sunday afternoon taking GigaPans of my daughter ballet school. I was very worried about lighting and exposure as the pictures were taken indoor in a theatre, but the biggest challenge was the fact that when you take pictures of about 50 girls (and boys) aged 4-17 asking them to stand still, the probability of at least one of them NOT standing still are proportional to the number of snapshots you have to take to complete the image.

I managed to take three pictures (as you can imagine, stopping the practice, aligning them, getting them to stop giggling and in general keeping them interested and focused while the robot was clicking away required a rather peculiar skill set…)

  1. This was taken from the balcony, about 50 metres away from the stage and about 5 in elevation; I shot with an ISO 800 sensititivity, 1/50 sec. f/7.1; the mosaic was composed of 28 images, requiring about 4 minutes to shoot
  2. This had similar technical characteristics – it’s the best shot IMHO, although I did find 4 mismatched faces (sigh !)
  3. This was taken from the floor, much closer to the stage (about 12 metres away) where I had a little bit more light (hence used f/8.0 aperture); the big difference however was that this mosaic required 55 images, and therefore took twice as long to shoot. As you can see there are many more mismatches here

The key learning therefore is that whenever you are gigapanning groups of people, you should aim at taking as few snapshots as possible to minimize the chance of the odd movement; you also might want to try taking several consecutive sets, maybe separated by a brief relaxing interval. Obviously, the more small kids you have in the group, the more difficult all of that is.

Contrarily to my worst fears lighting is NOT such a huge problem, but of course a theatre has plenty of stage lights – one thing that I missed  is some front light to “soak up” the shadows under the eye arches or noses, as the top lightning makes those quite evident.

I now need to find out about printing these…


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