Stitching and Merging Photos from Drayton Hall

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For photographers, historic Drayton Hall in Charleston, South Carolina is an ideal location. However, there can be challenging lighting situations. In this video, professional shooter Tony Sweet photographs a grand old room featuring a wide tonal range. You will learn how to create HDR images that capture full details in high contrast situations.

You will also learn how to shoot a sequence of images of the large room to be stitched together as a dramatic panorama in post production. In the editing suite, Tony will show you various retouching techniques to enhance your finished HDR and panorama images.

Using a wide angle lens and eight different, full-stop exposures in HDR, Tony frames the wall and the window, which shows white pillars, gray sky, brown trees, and green lawn. For a second composition through a 14mm lens, he composes a 270 degree panorama of the room. He pans four overlapping photographs, seven auto-bracketed exposures for each of the four photographs in order to handle the difficult lighting.

In the editing suite, Tony discovers Photoshop’s photomerge software is unable stitch the four overlapping compositions together that should create the finished panorama. Why? You will learn that the 14mm lens causes the angle of each shot to change radically, and there are no common stitching points.

For the solution, Tony uses ten photographs stitched together to create a dramatic 360 degree panorama of the ornate room. Then, he works on the retouching details. With Lucis software, he adjusts for contrast and sharpness. He also makes alterations to each of the RGB colors, red, green, and blue. Because he works in layers, Tony is able to make individual opacity changes to soften the overall panorama. Follow along with pro shooter Tony Sweet as he brings you into the complex world of panoramic photography at Drayton Hall.

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