Sunday, June 17, 2012

Photo of the day: Rope Rescue Panorama

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Rope Rescue Panorama, a photo by The Bacher Family on Flickr.
One of the challenges of capturing rope rescue training at Mount Rainier National Park on "film" is recording the long vertical expanse of the ropes, when the rangers are working 50 feet down an 80 foot cliff. To address this, I experimented with some panoramic series -- taking multiple images and later stitching them together in photoshop. You can take one wide angle image and simply crop it tightly, of course, but you get more detail with a series of shot -- though you'll never get the full benefit of the effort unless you blow the shot up to a full, say, 8x32 inch size, in which case the stitched image would remain sharp while the cropped one turned pixelated.

I did learn one thing in this process, and that is to leave more room along the edges of the images than you normally would, so that the stitched images extend far enough out to allow for a good crop. In this image, for example, the rangers at the op of the frame are just a little bit more to the left than the ranger at the bottom of the rope, so unconsciously I shifted my composition a little bit to the left when I took the upper image. If I had not framed that image so tightly, I would have avoided the slight black triangle of missing information in the upper right of the stitched panorama--something I was forced to leave in the picture, lest I crop out part of the action at the bottom of the frame.

Here's another, longer panorama to enjoy:

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