Rodney Campbell's Blog

The Bendy Cathedral – Vertorama…

by on Sep.17, 2013, under Life, Photography

I’ll start by admitting that I’m absolutely stunned that this spur of the moment HDR Vertorama even worked at any level let alone as well as it did…

It was taken during a lunchtime CBD photowalk with some friends from the G+ community. I’d expected some general street photography so had just brought my D600 with my antique looking but very compact and very wide Nikon 20mm f/2.8 lens. This lens hails from the analog era of the 1980’s so it has no modern goodies and is frankly pretty ordinary optically compared to modern lenses – no nano crystal coating, no CAD assisted lens design and so on. So it’s very wide (20mm on full frame – so imagine a fixed 13mm prime on your regular crop sensor body) and has it’s fair share of distortion, flare and CA. However what it does have is very compact size and weight – it’s tiny.

Anyway it’s what I had on the camera when the group decided to take a look inside St Andrew’s Cathedral, which is a beautiful church in the heart of the city. We looked around for image opportunities inside and since remarkably there were very few people inside I decided to go for broke and try and multi bracketed set for a handheld HDR vertorama.

This involved hand holding eight sets of three bracketed images – basically standing at the lectern in the middle of the church starting facing slightly down towards the floor in one direction down the length of the church and then step by step swivelling up and over and behind me down to the floor facing in the other direction. It was very dark inside the church of course so I’m shooting wide open at f/2.8 and then praying I can handhold all 24 shots still at 1/20th of a second at high ISO and do the moves well enough by eye to have an aligned result over the 24 frames as I rotate vertically over 200+ degrees…. Yeah I wasn’t hopeful either and said as much to Ali when I was taking them – mentioning I only had to stuff one of the 24 frames to wreck the whole thing.

Still I first did some basic RAW processing of the source frames in Lightroom before then HDR blending the bracketed sets and then panorama stitched those images into the vertorama you see here. Remarkably the alignment even handheld was damn good – the result here is straight out of stitching – no corrections or warping otherwise applied.

The Bendy Cathedral

The Bendy Cathedral

NIKON D600 + 20.0 mm f/2.8 @ 20 mm, 1/20 sec at f/2.8, ISO 450

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