The first step in creating a photostitch is to take the photographs. For this photostitch (The River Cam in the Mist at Magic Hour), I wanted to create as large an image as possible, so set my camera to maximum zoom – this would lead to more photographs being required to cover the subject matter. I then fixed the camera’s shutter speed, aperture, focus, and white balance, to ensure that all photos in the series look as similar as possible in colour and exposure. A row of photos was taken along the top of a mental grid, and then the next row down etc. until the whole scene had been covered. Photostitching requires overlap between each column and row of photos, so that the images can be lined up accurately.
The next step uses software to calculate how the images overlap, and to find control points that appear in more than one photograph. Depending on the output options, the resulting image(s) may still have very visible seams where the source photos overlap – this is most often due to vignetting, where the corners of a photograph are dimmer than the centre. While it is sometimes possible to get a near-perfect image straight from the software, I tend to choose to output a multi-layered Photoshop file, and then carefully blend between the layers so that no seams are visible; this is what can take many hours, even after creating control points and working in the photostitch software.
I think you’ll find that the results are well worth it though. 23 photos and 5+ hours later, here’s the 81 megapixel image.
Move your mouse over the image to see a crop of the full-resolution image.
Seeing that it was still foggy at midday when I headed out for some Christmas Shopping, I took my camera with the intention of getting some photos of Cambridge in the mist. Sure enough, as I reached the peak of Garret Hostel Lane bridge, the following pictoresque sight awaited me; along with several other people taking photos.
This first photo is my favourite – it’s a composite of 23 photos, seamlessly stitched together (taking over 5 hours) to create an 81 megapixel image.
The River Cam in the mist at Magic Hour
Punting under Clare Bridge in the mist
Clare Bridge at dusk
Looking towards St. John’s from Garret Hostel Lane
Another of Psychosemitic’s fine events, this time in the great venue 93 Feet East, on Brick Lane. Starting the evening was DJ Filastine, who mixed live sampled-drumming with standard DJing. Impressive skills. Next up were Y-Love, a hiphop threesome of Orthodox Jews from Brooklyn, whose infectious choons feature English, Hebrew and Aramaic lyrics. Check out MySpace.com/ylove and you’ll be hooked. Before the crowd got to carry on showing off their moves on the dancefloor, a belly dancer showed how Middle-Eastern dancing should be done.
On a bright and frosty December morning on my way to work, I was able to enjoy some prime time taking photos in the wintry wonderland of St. John’s College Backs. I’ve taken many photos of the St. John’s Backs in the snow, but this is the first time I was able to catch a slightly wintry view in bright sunshine, rather than overcast snow-clouds.
Ripples formed in the Cam as melting frost dripped from branches overhead
Frosty grass on the banks of the River Cam
Close-up of frost on a stone bridge
As the sun melted the frost on tree branches, water droplets formed pretty refractions of St. John’s New Court
A 71 megapixel panorama of St. John’s Backs on this bright frosty morning
More photographs from this wintry set are available on CantabPhotos
Oi Va Voi returned to the Cambridge Junction, almost a year since their last gig, but this time touring with their latest, eponymous, album. Performing in the main stage this time, they brought out old crowd-pleasers “Yesterday’s Mistakes”, “Refugee” and “Od Yeshoma”. New favourite “Yuri” made an even bigger impact with the fans in its encore re-playing. As was the case at their last gig, the band had a new vocalist and violinist. Bridgette Amofah seemed like she’d been singing with the band from the beginning, and the new violinist provided yet more anecdotal evidence for my hypothesis that Oi Va Voi’s female violinists are rather photogenic (see photos of Haylie Ecker and Sophie Solomon for further evidence).
Oi Va Voi returned to the Cambridge Junction, almost a year since their last gig. Again, they were supported by Gil Karpas, who improved upon last year’s great performance with some excellent guitar-playing to accompany his jazzy vocals.
More photos of Gil Karpas, supporting Oi Va Voi @ Cambridge Junction, November 2007 and December 2006
I was commissioned to take a photograph to promote Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights, to be used in the Jewish Chaplaincy’s fund-raising campaign. The only catch was that the request came a month before the festival started, so I couldn’t take photographs of the actual celebrations. I gathered a few willing volunteers to light the candles for the camera, the result of which can be seen below, and in the Chaplaincy Board’s campaigns.
Taken from the wonderful vantage point of the Jesus College Boat House – the reflections in the Cam and the stunning compositions make these some of the best firework photographs I’ve taken. Also very helpful was a friend’s tip about setting the camera to bulb mode, so that shutter speeds could be easily adapted as the fireworks varied.
After a hugely-successful tour of the USA, the multi-platinum-selling artist KT Tunstall is back touring the UK for her second album, Drastic Fantastic, and the highlight of her tour was always going to be playing one of London’s largest venues, and on Halloween. I last had the opportunity to photograph KT on her last UK tour in 2005, also on Halloween. Her die-hard fans also knew that Halloween was the best time to see KT, as she and her band dress for the occasion, with stage decorations to match. Similar to two years ago, KT had “Witch” written across her top, and there were pumpkins, cobwebs and skeletons on stage, with deathly make-up for the rest of the band. For the encore, the whole band came on in Power Ranger outfits, specially imported from Japan, and KT performed a rocking cover of “Walk Like An Egyptian”. Due to the venue’s strict no-SLR policy in the crowd, I was only able to photograph the first three songs.
KT’s new backing singers, Cat Sforza and Gita Harcourt
More photographs of KT Tunstall’s Roundhouse concert on CantabPhotos.com
The second headshot photoshoot this weekend, with Hayley, yet another stunning drama student at Homerton, like Rebecca, Megan and Erica. At this rate, I may soon get to photograph every member of Homerton. The photos below may or may not show this, but at times she reminded me of Brigitte Bardot, Farah Fawcett, and Cat Deeley.