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DPChallenge Forums >> Tips, Tricks, and Q&A >> Expanding the frame in photoshop
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08/31/2013 12:20:39 PM · #1
Hello friends,

I have been following photographer Brooke Shaden quite a bit and have heard that she likes to "expand the frame " with her images. She apparently does this by taking her base image of her subject, then taking multiple pictures of the scene, panning right and left, above and below her subject. In photoshop she manually stitches these images around the base image of her model so that her model stays large in the frame but you get to see more of the surroundings. I was wondering if anyone is familiar with this technique and would be able to share it? I've done this using PHOTOMERGE in photoshop, but I've never done it manually... I tried it and couldn't get things to line up or get the lines from the stitch to disappear.

Thank you kindly everyone.

kevin.
08/31/2013 12:27:49 PM · #2
It sounds similar to the technique ("Brenizer method") discussed in this thread.

I certainly shoot a fair number of stitched panoramas, mostly straight horizontal pans, but I've done vertical pans and combos to create a much larger field of view at a given focal length.

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Message edited by author 2013-08-31 12:46:59.
08/31/2013 12:39:06 PM · #3
@GeneralE It is a lot like the Brenizer Method but Brenizer uses a program to do his stitching... I've used Photoshops Photomerge to do this technique before but you have to crop out a lot when you're done the stitch. When you Manually expand you build the image up, larger and there's no cropping needed, which keeps the image bigger. You use the crop tool to expand, then you fill the expansion with the extra images.. but for some reason I can't get anything to line up and i'm not sure how to get rid of the stitch lines.
08/31/2013 01:05:36 PM · #4
Try using AutoStitch -- it can automatically sort and align images into a panorama (both vertical and horizontal at the same time), you mainly need to make sure that you use manual exposure and manual focus and have them all at the same focal length. The only real limitation of the free demo version is that you'll need to convert your images to JPEGs first. The example I posted (construction site) is a 180° panorama almost 16,000 pixels wide (the camera's sensor in that orientation is about 2100 pixels).

The key to having a large area around the subject is to shoot a lot of frames -- stitching programs do better when the frames have substantial overlap; I think 20% is the recommended minimum, but shooting handheld I often overlap by nearly 50%. Keeping the camera level is also important, although AutoStitch has an option to "auto straighten" ...

I've also used Canon's Photostitch utility (came free with the camera's CD), but it has a limitation when you shoot in "matrix" mode (combining pictures in both horizontal and vertical passes at once) you have to have exactly the same number of pictures in each row and column, and you have to manually sort them into proper position in the preview stage; AutoStitch doesn't require this step. The Canon program seems to be less memory intensive, but that shouldn't be an issue with something newer than my 12 year old PC ...
08/31/2013 01:06:02 PM · #5
Originally posted by Maver:

... but for some reason I can't get anything to line up and i'm not sure how to get rid of the stitch lines.


It's "panorama hell," it is. The problem is that your subject is close, the remainder of the scene may be close or far, and you have parallax error when shooting. Like any panorama, you need to rotate the camera around the "entrance pupil," often erroneously referred to as the nodal point of the lens. This will eliminate the parallax, but you will still have to deal with correcting lens distortion, and with color differences due to lens vignetting.

Message edited by author 2013-08-31 13:06:20.
08/31/2013 01:39:04 PM · #6
Eventually I found simply building a giant camera much easier.
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08/31/2013 03:21:02 PM · #7
Kevin, can you post an example of an image where she uses this technique?
08/31/2013 03:49:26 PM · #8
Originally posted by tanguera:

Kevin, can you post an example of an image where she uses this technique?

And/or one where you tried and it didn't work out so well.

If you want to post (or email me) scaled-down versions of your source images, I'll be happy to try running them through a stitching program for you.
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