Five years ago, I photographed a Boston-based basketball tournament. During some down time, I did some personal photography around the neighborhood, and in those moments I found a beautiful mural featuring Boston’s Dudley neighborhood.
I took some panoramic pictures, stitched them together, and blogged about the moment.
Here’s the original picture from 2011.
Five years ago, I took this picture. And in the blog post, I made this statement.
The photo turned out okay … But it’s still got that “fun-house” distortion to it, and at some point I have to find a freeware program that can help me stretch the picture to a proper rectangular aspect. Plus, I should have shot this on a cloudy day; the mural is too bright at the left and too shadowy on the right.
Five years ago.
Flash forward to today. My stat-metrics program that monitors my Times Union blog has noticed an uptick in readers that are visiting this old post. For what reason? I have no idea.
But the visit actually inspired me to go back to my original photos from 2011, and find a way to do what I could not do back then – to create a rapid rectangular shot of the “Faces of Dudley” memorial.
And the best way to achieve this? YouTube tutorial clips from people who have not only figured out what I need to do … but who are kind enough to show, step by step, their actions and results.
Okay. Pictures loaded. Combined. Adjusted. Wait, there’s a thing in PhotoShop CS6 called Adaptive Wide Angle? And all I need to do is draw the lines in that filter, tell the lines they must be horizontal or vertical… and the program does the work?
Holy T-Square, Batman…
Okay. Let’s see what happens. You’ve seen the picture above…
Now here’s today’s result.
Hokey smokes. It freakin’ worked.
The photo doesn’t look like a half-warped funhouse mirror. You can see all the people in the picture.
Okay, you also see some diagonal frame lines in the picture, and the contrast is still a bit wonky…
Let’s see if I can fix that. I went back this time to the original stitched panorama photo, which thanks to the original freeware program, blended all the sky blues into one flowing azure.
If I can do this once… I can do it again.
Okay… here we go.
There we go…
Again, I now understand that if I go back to Boston at some point, and wait for a nice cloudy day, and set up my more powerful Nikon Df at that intersection, and I apply more patience…
At least at that point I know that the final product can be stretched and constricted and modified to more aesthetic visual dimensions.
Oh yeah, one more thing.
Even if I made this image completely perfect, there’s no way I would ever enter it in competition. Not because of the quality of the picture, mind you – yeah, this image may be squared off, but it still has some other issues attached to it –
Even if it was perfect, I still couldn’t enter it. It’s a beautiful and inspiring mural, but it’s also the work of another person. And the focal point of the picture is the artwork itself. I could not enter that photo in competition and say it was mine any more than I could enter a photo I took of the Mona Lisa and say that THAT picture was mine.
I couldn’t enter it … but I can use it as an experiment so that when I DO have a photo that needs to be “aligned” properly…
I can do it. And it’s nice to have those options available.
Just another step forward.
See? I did say that mural was an inspiring artwork.
I just didn’t say HOW it would inspire me. 😀