Crowd Panos

Photographing Concerts and their Audiences

 

For as long as I can remember, I have always enjoyed showing the audience when photographing concerts. Invariably there is no way to step back far enough to capture the expansive crowd. Nor do I have a wide angle lens that can take it all in. My solution has been to make a panoramic image by stitching together overlapping views. Like this:

Evening Concert – PC Town Center  —  CLICK picture – with luck your browser will show it bigger

Sadly I can no longer link to a viewer that shows panos well, but with luck your browser will do a reasonable job.

The image here was stitched from eight separate exposures. Here are four of them.

Take a closer look at these four. You can see that stitching them faces some interesting obstacles. Yes, The photos show lots of noise. These photos were taken in the evening, night might be a better word. All at f/5.6 and 1/250s with the camera allowed to adjust the sensitivity (auto-ISO). My old camera doesn’t do so well at ISO 5000 to 25600.  On the left end the light evening sky tricked the camera into underexposing the people and I had to boost the shadows – always bad for noise. On the right end the camera reached ISO 25600 and all the noise that comes with that. I do use some noise removal app for these, but that is another story.

In the minute or so that it took to get this set people moved around quite a bit. Some people even walked along in front. That is one huge problem for stitching. Another is more subtle. Look at the lamp post. In one image it is quite bent, straight in the last. That tells you my lens produces a good about of barrel distortion. These problems, and even exposure nonuniformities are easily solved my my stitching program, Microsoft Image Composite Editor, ICE.

On the bottom it says: Camera motion: rotating motion. Stitched 8 of 8 images. Spans 169.3° horizontally, 48.7° vertically. You can see how the program ballooned the images to correct for distortion, moved them up and down for best alignment and found were to cut  from one to the next. Oh, there are stitching artifacts. In a crowd with everybody moving not even the best AI, for that matter nt even old-fashioned human intelligence, could get it perfect. ICE offers a number of different projections as you can see. For this I stayed with the default cylindrical projection.

The four steps at the top describe the major functions, Import, Stitch, Crop, and Export. In the cropping function it even offers to fill the areas around the edges with “context matching fill”. I did not make use of that for this pano.

The final step is to export. Sadly the Deep Zoom and Photosynth options are no longer of use. Time has marched on and Microsoft has given up on those tools. Even ICE is pretty much orphaned, although still available for download from Microsoft. I chose to export a full quality (100%) JPG image. You can see that it is 18098 pixels wide. That makes for a 98.78 megapixel image. I did go back and trimmed top and bottom, see first image above. The file size still came out as 99.6 MB. Yes, I did scale it down for this post.

Here is another pano. This one is made up of just two images. I am using this as the “featured image” so WordPress does not have to choke on the wide panorama.

Evening Concert – PC Town Center

Now for some other photos from this first Concert on the Green at the Peachtree Corners Town Center with the band Sister Hazel. The lead singer is Ken Block

 

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© 2019 Ludwig Keck

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Photoodles – 2

The Making of a Photoodle

The term “photoodle”, being derived from photo and doodle, implies a somewhat casual, haphazard process of creation. While much of my “cafe art” is carefully planned, a good deal just happens. This is the story of one such photoodle. It really is one of my favorites now. Continue reading

PCFestival

Peachtree Corners Festival – 2017

Music Evening

The Peachtree Corners Festival, on the second weekend each June, starts with a concert evening on Friday. Here are some views from 2017.

Peachtree Corners Festival 2017

 

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© 2018 Ludwig Keck

Sculpture Photography

Monuments, statues, all sort of sculptures, are all around us in urban settings, parks, and many other places. The are fun to photograph. Here are some thoughts on how to go about it and what you might do to make your images expressive and unique.

Photographing Sculptures

When you photograph a sculpture you are working with another artist’s creation. You can document it like for a catalog, but that might not provide the most exiting image. You can interpret it in your own style and come up with a photo that does justice to the sculptor and yet allows you to express yourself.

You might consider showing how the sculpture “lives” in its environment. Here are a couple examples.

Johnny Mercer Statue, Ellis Square, Savannah, Georgia

The Waving Girl – Savannah, Georgia

The two photos above tell their stories almost completely by themselves. These sculptures work in their environment and are enhanced by their setting.

Sometimes showing the surroundings is less effective like here with the African American Family Monument also in Savannah, Georgia.

African American Family Monument, Savannah, Georgia

Now the nice thing about sculptures is that they hold still. You can take your time to wait for better light, even a better season. Here are three more views of this statue.

Here we have the typical tourist snapshot on the left. The light is blah, the background is distracting, the processing does nothing to enhance the image. The center image has the trees in the background leaved out covering up the building and bringing the viewers attention more to the sculpture. It is also more contrasty to bring out the details. You will agree that the the image on the right is better photograph in this group.

The first one was taken in late afternoon with an overcast sky. The one on the right was taken the next morning, about 8 am, with the morning sun bringing life to the sculpture. The side view and side light bring out the individuals, giving volume to the figures. Take your time, come back when you can find better light, maybe fewer visitors that might block just the angle you like, and even better foliage as shown here. That is the charm of statues. They wait for you.

Approach sculpture as you would a portrait shoot. Move around, find the perspective, the view, that works best for you.

Some angles work better than others. Experiment. Take you time, the subject isn’t getting impatient.

Monuments are meant to be seen in totality to convey their story, but you need not feel that you must tell their story. It is fine to get close, to show just part of the subject.

Haitian Monument, Savannah, Georgia

Close-Up – Haitian Monument, Savannah, Georgia

Hey, photographers, look at me!

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© 2018 Ludwig Keck