On My Way to 'The Rock'
San Francisco, California, USA
4PM Pacific Time, June 20th, 205
© 2005 David Goldwasser, All Rights Reserved.
This was a hastily shot pano that I was not sure would come out well. I often shoot handheld shots but this one was taken at a location where I could not look through the camera or maintain my own position as I rotate the camera. I used a rust spot on the boat as a reference point. Boats present a few problems. One is that you really have two different horizons. The camera relative to the boat, and the camera relative to the world beyond the boat. What would be ideal is to take all of the shots with the boat at the same point in its rock, ideally when it is level. That is easier said than done. Even if you do this if the boat is moving forward then the scene is altered like with fast moving clouds. The extent of this depends on speed of the boat and proximity to objects outside the boat. Bright light is also good since you are moving and want to maintain a fast shutter speed to minimize motion blur.
Well I tried an experiment with the stitching of this pano and it seemed to work very well. I basically first did a version of the pano where I optimized the stitch locations for the boat. I then made a copy of that file and changed the optimization of the stitch for the distant horizon. I kept the horizon-free picture of the back of the boat as common reference location for each. I then loaded them both into Photoshop and blended them together. More than half of the scene has nothing from the boat crossing above the distant horizon. This let the water serve as the perfect camouflage to hide my the blending of the two panos. The result is what looks like a relatively ghost free pano.