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One thing about the hotel I'm in, here in San Diego, is that I have the most amazing view, looking north over the entrance to the harbour. It's a view down the channel, with a small fishing port, a large naval base, and large numbers of yachts and other pleasure boats.

So, as the sun rose this morning, I took out my digicam, and took a few photos, which I've stitched together into yet another panorama...

Click on the thumbnail to open the larger image (but remember, it's a 1MB or so download). I'm not entirely happy with the way that Panorama Factory has stitched the images, so I'll probably remake it when I get back to the UK.

The observant will spot two nuclear carriers across the channel. One, CVN-74, is the Nimitz class carrier USS John C. Stennis. The other is being refitted, so it's impossible to identify. However, I've found a site which indicates that it's the USS Nimitz. The third carrier in the picture is the USS Midway, and is shortly to become a floating museum.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 26th, 2004 05:09 pm (UTC)
Fucking HELL they are BIG! 8¬o
Jan. 27th, 2004 12:12 am (UTC)
Watch it, any more of that and you'll be considered a security risk!
Jan. 27th, 2004 12:38 am (UTC)
"The image “http://www.sandm.co.uk/~simon/images/SanDiego.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors."

this is Thunderbird on OSX Panther
Jan. 27th, 2004 03:20 am (UTC)
Good photo spoiled by somewhat less-than-perfect stitching software. I've never got good results from these programs, so I do all my stitching by hand. I'd like to see the re-make when you get back.
Jan. 27th, 2004 07:56 am (UTC)
How do you go about "stitching by hand"?
Jan. 27th, 2004 08:45 am (UTC)
1) Take good photos to start with, i.e. on the level, preferably using a tripod.
2) Ensure you have a good percentage of overlap (30% is ideal) of photos to avoid off-axis distortion (chances are you're using a wide-angle for panoramic shots).
3) Optionally, use some basic photo editing software to "feather" the edges of the shots (i.e. make them partially transparent).
4) Using layers, position one shot over another and "eyeball" the match.
5) Use basic feathering, clone brush and smoothing tools to erase or disguise any features that don't quite match up.

Well, that's what I do. Using panorama software is a bit hit-and-miss, and you're always left with stuff to tidy up manually anyway. Besides, it takes all the fun out of it.
Jan. 27th, 2004 09:07 am (UTC)
Thanks for the tips, although offhand phrases like "using layers" conceal a world of assumption (what photo-manipulation software would you recommend for tip (4)?)

Your tip (2) is well-taken. I find that too much overlap makes the raw auto-stitched pictures crap, but gives me plenty of room to crop manually for the best fit, making the final auto-stitched cropped pictures much better than small-overlap pictures would have been. Presumably I'm getting rid of the distortion on the edge of the lens?

(I have a con panel photo somewhere showing sbisson with three hands, but that's amusing rather than annoying, especially as one of them, Kali-like, is clutching a pint :-)

Jan. 28th, 2004 07:12 am (UTC)
I use Paint Shop Pro. "Layers" is probably a PSP-only term for two or more independently manipulable images that occupy the same space in the overall window. For instance, you can adjust the transparency of the uppermost layer to view the lower image "through" the upper one (i.e. onionskin).
Jan. 28th, 2004 03:01 pm (UTC)
Okay, I have an old version of PSP, I'll have to see if it's recent enough to have that future.

In the meantime, it looks as though I lost that stitched picture with the Kali Simon, but here's the cropped version that only had a distorted right arm of his neighbour:

From right to left: lproven, Julian Headlong, major_clanger, dave_on, sbisson, Jonjo, and hidden behind the column, freddietrumper
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )