Composite shots with the NIKON P5100

One of the nice things you can do with the P5100 is choose from a list of image sizes, from the largest 4000×3000 pixels down to 1 megapixel and beyond (for TV) as well as square format and 16:9 letterbox format.

The square format appeals to me, as does the ability to put a black keyline around the shot after it has been taken. It looks very attractive.

But the appeal of smaller image sizes comes into its own with composite shots. Composite shots – called Photomerge in Photoshop, are made by taking a number of shots dotted around a large subject, making sure to cover every part of it and even beyond its boundaries, and then using the photomerge function in Photoshop (file > automate > photomerge) to merge them into one composite image.

And therein lies the potential for a problem. Because if I take twenty shots of a building and each shot is 12 megapixels, and then ask Photoshop to merge them and blend them into one image, well that is a lot of images and a lot of processing power needed to deal with it. I have produced images with a Macbook Pro that at some stages in the photomerge process are over 1.2GB in file size.

Hence the attraction of using 5 megapixel images to build up the picture rather than the full 12 megapixel ones.

Photomerge is a very powerful tool that deals with differences in exposure in the shots taken around an image very well. I have tried using the Manual setting but Aperture Priority produces good results, even when some individual shots seem dark (such as is caused by strong backlighting) when seen in the LCD when taking the shot.

This building is opposite the railway station in Leeds, England and it extracts lots of drama out of a setting that is not that auspicious.




5 thoughts on “Composite shots with the NIKON P5100

  1. Hi David, do you mean my site http://www.richardpeters.co.uk? (the address above doesn’t exist). Thanks, glad you liked it 🙂

    Autopano I have always found to stitch images more accurately and faster than CS3 with no real need to help it along manually, which I sometimes found CS3 needed. Also it’s Smart Blend is just first class! I am going to do a more detailed write up on it over the next week or so, so keep an eye out to see what you think 🙂

    Like

  2. Hi David, do you mean my site http://www.richardpeters.co.uk? (the address above doesn’t exist). Thanks, glad you liked it 🙂

    Autopano I have always found to stitch images more accurately and faster than CS3 with no real need to help it along manually, which I sometimes found CS3 needed. Also it’s Smart Blend is just first class! I am going to do a more detailed write up on it over the next week or so, so keep an eye out to see what you think 🙂

    Like

  3. Hi Richard,
    Yes, I meant http://www.richardpeters.co.uk – apologies for the error. I’ll look out for your article on autopano.

    As to whether CS3 is accurate, it definitely isn’t – at least not the way I have been using it.

    For example, the road in front of the building in the lower shot does not curve at all: It is a straight road. And the building itself is flat-fronted.

    Often I am more interested in whether the image appeals to me rather than whether it accurately represents what is there.

    But for some subjects, I agree that accuracy desirable or the image won’t look right anyway. I might try the technique with a portrait. Watch this space.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s