Friday, 21 March 2014

Tutorial: Lipstick planet

Here is the recipe for making a photo like this:

  • Find something that rises above the horizon, like a tall building
  • Wait until there is a nice sundown. (Very cloudy in Gothenburg, where I live, so this can take 3-4 months, or more.)

This is the original panorama, made from eight separate photos.
  • Shoot a multi-picture panorama.I used eight photos. Hold the camera vertically. I used a 10mm super wide angle lens, but you can do it with a longer lens too. I shot on manual with autofocus turned off.
  • Straighten the horizons, do lens correction, enhance colors and reduce noice in a good post processing program. Straighten the horizons individually for each photo, but do everything else in a batch. I used DXO Optics Pro.
  • Stitch the photos together into a normal panorama. I used Hugin for this. Hugin is free software. The user interface is rather clunky, so do look at a tutorial or two before using it.
  • Make a planet. I used the polar mapping filter in The Gimp. The Gimp is also free software.
  • Fix minor glitches. I did this in Pixelmator. I could have done it in The Gimp, but I prefer Pixelmator's user interface. I exported several versions, with different backgrounds, and different color tweaking.
That's it! By far the hardest thing I did was finding a decent sunset. Those are few and far between here in Gothenburg.

Note that you do not need as many different programs as I used. You can do everything in The Gimp and Hugin, and they are both free.