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Stitching Process - 1

Stitching Process - 2

Stitching Process - 3

Nadir Shooting Techniques

Nadir Shooting Techniques - Avoiding Shadows

Finding the "Point"

 

 


 

Nadir Shooting Techniques...

 


 

 

Previous pages shows you basic steps in shooting the nadir (downward shot). 

 

When you're in a dimly lit room, location or night panorama shooting the first concern I have is the long exposure shot of the nadir. 

 

Obviously, for this kind of photography, a hand held shot is not an option. 

 

 

 

The following technique is shown using the Nodal Ninja 3 VR head.  This is also illustrated in the Nodal Ninja 3 review page.

 

 

NOTES:

 

1 - Remember to make a mental note of the location of the nadir before reconfiguring the tripod.  I usually stand on the "nadir" or use an object to mark out the spot.

2 - Make another mental note of the height of the lens where the previous images where shot at to properly set up the tripod.

3 - This set up is only possible with a tripod that is capable of spreading its legs approximately 80 or more.  These types of tripods are generally capable of low level shooting.  You only need to spread the two front legs wider than normal.

4 - Use a hot shoe level to make sure the camera is leveled.

5 - When adjusting how far to tilt the tripod forward, be careful not to push too far.  In a windy location the tripod can tip over.  Make sure there is enough weight at the rear or simply use your hands to support the tripod.

6- Slide the camera to its farthest position on the upper arm.

7 - Adjust the center focusing point of the camera to the center of the nadir that you've marked out.

8 - Release the shutter via timer or remote control.

 

CONS:  Due to the width of the two front tripod legs, approximately 5 feet (depending on the size of your tripod), this may not be possible in some locations.

 

PROS:  Great for long exposures.

 

 


 

In

An alternative of the technique above when space is limited.

 

 

 

Notes on the image above:

1 - Adjust the two front tripod legs.

2 - In case the tripod's legs slips, ready your left hand to catch the camera.

3 - The right foot is the main holding point.  The left foot prevents the front tripod legs from slipping back.

 

 

 

NOTES:

 

1 - Similar to the previous technique, make a note of the center of the nadir  and height of the lens where the previous images were taken at before reconfiguring the tripod.

2 - Use a hot shoe level to make sure the camera is leveled.

3 - Notice the rear leg is extended to it's second extension while the two front legs uses only the first extension.  This of course depends on how high you want to shoot.

4 - Slide the camera to its farthest position on the upper arm.

5 - Adjust the center focusing point of the camera to the center of the nadir that you've marked out.

6 - Release the shutter via timer or remote control.

 

 

CONS:  If you're not careful, (1) there is a possibility that the tripod may slip. (2) If you lose your footage and/or balance, damage to your camera and/or lens is inevitable.  You've been WARNED.

 

PROS:  Once familiar with this technique it is faster to set up than the previous technique.

 

 

 

A quick tip...

 

The techniques above requires the adjustment of the camera to it's farthest position on the upper arm of the Nodal Ninja 3.

 

To quickly reposition the camera back to the entrance pupil setting, as an aid,  I've screwed in these scrap metal to mark out the exact location of the camera mount. 

 

This may not be possible with some VR heads.

 

 

Update - August 2007

 

Nick Fan, the inventor of the NN3, added "Rail Stops".

 

 

 


 

An alternative tripod to use...  More details here

 

 


 

 

 

 

Sample shoot and workflow of the technique above

 

Take six pan shots at every 60, one upward (zenith),

and one downward shot (nadir) with the tripod.

 

 

Above:  The alternative nadir shooting technique was chosen here

as you can clearly see the left foot.

 

 


 

PTGUI...

 

In PTGUI, add all the images excluding the nadir shot, generate control points and create panorama.

 

 

First initial stitch

 


 

Pano2QTVR...

 

 

In PANO2QTVR, convert the stitched image (equirectangular) to a cubical projection.

 

The six cubical images generated with PANO2QTVR.

 


 

Nikon Capture...

 

 

With Nikon Capture, "defish" the nadir shot automatically with one click.

 

 

 

An alternative to Nikon Capture - Defish with PTGUI

 

In PTGUI load the nadir image.

 

 

In Panorama Settings tab set the following fields as shown.

 

In Panorama Editor you'll see the changes.

 

 

In Create Panorama tab...

- Set optimum size to maximum

- Choose JPEG or TIF

- Choose "Blended panorama only"

-Choose output location.

Then Create Panorama...

 

 


 

Photoshop...

 

 

 

In Photoshop, copy the corresponding area of the defished image and paste on top of the cubical nadir. 

 

Add a layer mask.  You may have to use other tools such as warp, distort, skew, levels, saturation, etc.

 

Understand how to work with layers here.

 

Once finished editing, in PANO2QTVR, re-convert the six cubical images back to an equirectangular image.

 

 

QTVR

 


 

Other topics you may be interested in...

Shaving the Nikon 10.5 Fisheye Lens

Patching