A March Thaw

The weather was warm enough to melt a good bit of the snow and ice, and prolonged rain helped fill the streams. Now the weather is turning briefly colder again, and we expect some snow tonight.

Playing with Hugin, the Panorama Stitcher

Continuing his experiments with panorama stitching, Father Pitt is trying out a program called Hugin. The results are encouraging. All the pictures in this article were stitched together with the default settings and no tweaking at all.

Here’s a picture put together from two separate photos:

This is extraordinarily good work, because the original pictures did not match very well at all. They were taken hand-held, and the exposure is very different. Here they are, and you may judge Hugin’s work for yourself:

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Camera: Kodak EasyShare Z1485 IS.

In addition to correcting the perspective and angles, Hugin has matched the lighting almost perfectly.

Here is a snow panorama from Father Pitt’s favorite little stream valley in Mount Lebanon:

Snow Panorama 2015-02-20, 01

Camera: Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z3.

This picture is put together from three separate photographs—again, with the camera hand-held, and with little serious attempt to be careful about lining things up. The lighting is not matched perfectly, but it’s not a bad job at all.

Here is a broad panorama made from four pictures:

Snow Panorama 2015-02-20, 02

Camera: Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z3.

Now here is something more interesting, from a technical point of view, though from an artistic point of view it’s just another boring old snow-in-the-woods picture:

Snow Panorama 2015-02-20, 03

Camera: Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z3.

It looks like an ordinary rectangular photograph, but in fact it is made from four separate hand-held photographs—two above and two below. Hugin had to sort out the different angles and match the lighting, and it did a very good job, giving us a very-wide-angle photograph with an ordinary somewhat-wide-angle lens.

One curious thing about Hugin is that it cannot deal with pictures from the Samsung Digimax V4. By simple bad luck, this was the first camera old Pa Pitt tried with Hugin, and he was convinced for half an hour that the program was broken. No; it was just a strange incompatibility with that one camera. Father Pitt suspects there is something odd about the EXIF data generated by that camera. There is something odd about almost everything that camera does, so one is not surprised that it should be the only camera so far to give Hugin problems.

But unless you have a camera that confuses it (and those are probably very rare), Hugin is exactly what you need for combining individual photographs into one large picture. It earns Father Pitt’s endorsement—an endorsement he feels all the better about giving it because Hugin is free and open source.

A Snow Panorama

Woodland Panorama, 2015-04-15

Here it is, for no other reason than that Father Pitt was trying out the in-camera panorama stitching in his Kodak EasyShare Z1485 IS. It seems to work well, within its limits: it reduces the resolution of the individual pictures, so that the overall panorama is about 10 megapixels, whereas an individual picture is saved at 14-megapixel resolution. But even at the smaller size, the final picture is large and detailed: click on it to enlarge it to full size.