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Mastering Digital Panoramic Photography [Paperback]

by Harald Woeste
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Book Description

November 4, 2009 1933952458 978-1933952451 1

The unusual perspective of a panoramic image creates a unique and intriguing visual experience for the viewer. Skillfully executed, panoramic photography can realize scenes which could otherwise never be captured in an image or seen with the naked eye.

Panoramas offer new possibilities for creative photographers, either as flat, two-dimensional images, or mapped into a 3D space that can be visited on a virtual tour. New, powerful, panorama software makes the workflow easier and more efficient than ever before.

Author Harald Woeste takes the reader on a tour from the basics of capturing panoramas, all the way through stitching, editing, and printing panoramic images. He provides a detailed description of the necessary equipment and materials, as well as the various software tools that can be used in the workflow. The latter half of the book illustrates the making of panoramas through a number of example projects.

In Mastering Digital Panoramic Photography you will find everything you need to know to create amazing panoramic images.

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Harald Woeste lives in Bonn, Germany where he works as a designer and photographer for international clients. Digital photograhic panoramas was the subject of his thesis at the "Universitaet der Kuenste" in Berlin, and it has become one of the tools for his work as an artist and designer. One of the widely recognized projects of Harald Woeste is the panoramic capture of the exhibit "Einstein, Engineer of the Universe" in Berlin.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Rocky Nook; 1 edition (November 4, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933952458
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933952451
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 8.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #534,731 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Detailed, Technical Education on Panoramic Photography February 3, 2010
I found it interesting to read some of the other reviews prior to writing my own evaluation of this book. The information and approach taken by Woeste seems to be a definitely hit or miss with the audience that has chimed in. Here's why I think this is the case.

If you are looking for a simple step-by-step approach to getting a great stitched panoramic photo, this may not be the book for you. Though there is plenty of how-to type instruction with well documented screen shots, it is not presented in the recipe to success approach taken by some books.

Conversely, if you are the type that likes to get the entire picture (pun kinda intended in this case), including all the background, history, technique and philosophy to the panoramic technique, then this is the book for you. Woeste provides superb examples, front annotated behind-the-scenes setup views to beautiful examples of his own work, to compliment a thorough walk through panoramic photography. The history of the craft is included, giving some interesting background.

The detailed view of tripod heads & gear definitely puts this book beyond the avid amateur who is looking for just the basic simple software solution for stitching some photos together. Perhaps that is this books biggest difficulty, finding the right audience. Even so, for the photographer that enjoys knowing the deep details and options available in this area, I'd say this book is a good offering.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In the Round October 12, 2009
Aside from the obvious benefits of digital over other photography media, like greater control over exposures and post-processing adjustments, digital photography has enabled us to improve older techniques so that photographers are better able to convey their vision. Images that covered more than the normal angle of view, called panoramas, were first created in 1787, using large scale circular paintings in which the viewer was centered in the painting. Today, with very little additional equipment, a digital photographer can create very wide angle images, with great detail, by stitching together several separate images. He or she can even create virtual realities (also known as spherical projections), where a viewer can have the effect of being completely surrounded by an image. Particularly amazing is not just the angle of view, which can exceed any wide angle lens, but the resolution of the final image.

Harold Woeste provides an introduction to panoramic photography. After reviewing the history of panoramas, Woeste introduces the special equipment necessary to capture the images to be used in the panorama. While a panorama can be captured using a hand held camera, better results will ensue using a tripod with a specially designed head when shooting the series of images required for a panorama. The author then discusses the computer software necessary to stitch together the images. He also shows methods of outputting the images, which includes both wide flat prints of great detail and images which must be viewed on a computer and which allow the viewer to select any direction to look, including even up and down.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good guide to panorama photography December 9, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I found this book very valuable in providing a great deal of technical expertise on this subject. I enjoyed the historical section, although I was already very familiar with the old techniques presented here (I have been involved in photography for 47 years), but I think those who are newer will find it fascinating. The very explicit explanations of parallax problems and how to remedy them with special tripod heads and 'L' brackets was very informative. I also liked the information on vertical panorama techniques and how to correct the distortions introduced by shooting with the camera pointed up. Although I already know how to do much of what is in the book (from long years of experience), I really appreciated the thorough coverage of the subject and how it is related to digital photography and techniques. After all, digital cameras are so good at panoramic photography that essentially all camera manuifacturers have ceased production of their film panoramic cameras (Fuji, Hasselblad, etc.). Anyone interested in panoramic photography would do well to study the methods and techniques in this book. the reason that I gave it only four stars instead of 5 is that those who mainly capture landscapes, with no close foreground objects, will need only a small amount of the information presented in the book, which spends a lot of pages on avoiding parallax problems and their remedies in situations that most of us avoid. That said, you should still be aware of those problems, and their solution. And the author does offer more simple solutions than buying expensive, specialized equipment - making the book worthwile for that alone!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Now I know what to do to make good panoramic images December 8, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Woesta explains with geometric graphics, screen shots, and resulting images why simple methods to make panoramas by combining 2 or more shots usually fails. By simple methods, I mean hand-held shots and standard tripod shots in which the camera is rotated. The author explains the concept of "Virtual Reality" (VR) vertical axis. If your lens does not rotate on this lens dependent VR axis, the stitched seam in the panorama will mismatch. The standard tripod is not a solution, as I have demonstrated to myself many times -- unless the seam occurs were there are no critical details. The author shows tripod heads that put the lens on the VR axis. You can make a cheap tripod head that is an aluminum plate bent into a "L" shape or you can buy a manufactured tripod head. These include heads that are manufactured to work with a specific lens and a variety of heads that are not specific lens-dependent that allow for complex adjustments to attain the VR axis position for the lens.

Other problems solved include parallax, focus, white balance and exposure. When the photographer has solved those problems, it is time to face the challenge of stitching the individual shots. You can't really manually overlap and color match the seams and get a high quality result. The are cheap stitching software programs that do do low quality work; the author ignores these, but they are a starting point for beginners. If you want to do high-quality stitched panoramas, Woesta does you a big favor by discussings the pros/cons of these four commercial software programs that do high quality work: PTGui Pro, Autodesk Stitcher, Adobe Photoshop, and Kolor Autopano Pro.

Finally, the author discusses post-processing of the stitched panorama.

Prior to reading the book, I had given up making panoramas. I'm encouraged by this book to get the proper tools and try again.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars very expensive book
I did not like the price.above 100 $ for a book of few pages
is too expensive. bad bad bad
Published 8 months ago by Shlomo Rosenzweig
5.0 out of 5 stars good beginig
just the right beginig for everyone who wants to entrace into the Spherical photography world.... after this a lot of practice and that`s it
Published on December 15, 2011 by Dave77
5.0 out of 5 stars Mastering Digital Panoramic Photography
This is the reference book on pano photography, which if you just start out, it is a must read. It is very informative with full of reference products related to this type of... Read more
Published on February 25, 2011 by bpham
4.0 out of 5 stars Technical Study of Panorama Construction
This is quite a technical exploration of panorama construction, focusing more on angles and planes perhaps rather than composition. Read more
Published on October 26, 2010 by Shelleyrae
5.0 out of 5 stars Much Better Than The Rest
I was detirmined to make panoramic photography my specialty, so I bought every book on the subject and this was the only one that I needed to become an expert on this subject.
Published on October 20, 2010 by Jack
5.0 out of 5 stars THE BOOK for panoramic photography
the book is full of very well explained examples. It was really useful to me beacause It really fullfilled the gaps I had in my selfmade panoramic photographer formation. Read more
Published on August 11, 2010 by Marcos Reis Dantas
3.0 out of 5 stars Great, general introduction
+3 Stars go to the satisfactory overview of history, equipment, techniques, & software available.

-1 Star because of *slightly, but still apparent* outdated equipment &... Read more
Published on August 5, 2010 by Christopher Thorpe
5.0 out of 5 stars Depending on what you want to learn...
... This book could be the best of all on the subject or not!

If you are interested only by tutorials about the stitcher you are using or interested only in a particular... Read more
Published on July 1, 2010 by Georges Lagarde aka GURL
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT OVERVIEW
This book has been an enormous help in giving me confidence to proceed with more sophisticated VR projects. It has great real world examples and step by step walk throughs. Read more
Published on April 11, 2010 by D. Brazil
5.0 out of 5 stars The fast track to panoramas is in this book
I really love 360 degree, panoramic SWFs as a great way to share locations in an immersive, interactive way. Read more
Published on March 12, 2010 by J. Price
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