Sunday, February 15th 2009

Making panoramas with Autostitch

Yesterday I went to Stockholm for a photowalk around sunset. I had decided on a few places to go to get a couple of different views I wanted.

Specifically, I wanted to get a view of Kungsholmen from Söder Mälarstrand, Södermalm from Centralbron and Gamla stan from Katarinahissen.

I took the underground train to Zinkensdamm and walked up on Skinnarviksberget. From there there was a great view of Kungsholmen and Gamla stan. I took seven shots for a panorama.

I merged the shots using Autostitch. First I tried using the Photomerge feature in Photoshop, but that was useless and kept leaving several visible, blurry seams. So I went hunting on the web and found Autostitch which is free and much better at finding the overlaps.

The only thing you need to do before you give it the photos for merging is to change the output scale to 100% (otherwise you get a tiny panorama) and set the JPEG quality to 100% (the default of 75 is useless). These settings can be found under Edit -> [Options] and sadly, they need to be set every time you start the program.

I recently read in a photo magazine that you should take vertical shots for panoramas, for higher vertical resolution I guess. My seven shots gave an output of 11,745 x 3,307 pixels, or 39 megapixels. That should make a decent print.

I’ll follow up with more shots from Stockholm.

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