Friday, October 08, 2004

Panorama Pictures

When Linzy and I were in San Francisco last summer for our honeymoon, I took two sets of pictures that I intended to merge into a single panorama picture. I took 6-7 pictures of San Francisco from Alcatraz, and 7-8 pictures of San Francisco Bay from the top of the Marin Headlands.

After we got back, I spent a while stitching the pictures together, and getting their colors to match (as much as possible for my limited photo-manipulation skills).

At that point, the panorama looked reasonably nice, but I wasn't sure what to with it. We didn't really have anyway to get it printed out in its full size (5032x894 pixels, roughly 4 pictures wide). So it just sat on the computer in with the rest of the pictures from the honeymoon.

A while back we were cleaning out one of the closets, and stumbled upon a 3 picture frame we had gotten as a wedding gift but never used (apologies to whoever gave it to us).

Anyways, I came up with the idea that we should carve up the panorama and put 3 sections of it in the frame, split so it looked like the panorama continued behind the picture separators. It sounded good in theory, but turned out to be a bit harder then I thought it was going to be.

First I trimmed the picture so it was even across the top and bottom (the pictures rose slightly as the went from right to left, a common problem taking panorama pictures by hand I found out).

Then I figured out how tall the pictures were, and calculated how wide each picture should be in order to keep the correct aspect ratio when they were printed as 4x6 pictures.

Then I measured the picture frame separators (1.25 inches) and calculated how much I needed to skip between the pictures I cut out.

Then I cut out the sections I wanted and saved them as separate images (using the exact same selection box, just translated over so they would come out exactly the same size), and took them to Sam's Club to print out.

When I looked at the pictures on the computer, it looked perfect in terms of having a 1.25 inch gap between each picture, and all being the same 'size'. When I picked up the pictures from Sam's Club today, they looked just like they did on the computer, so I thought I was in good shape.

Did you pick up on what I forgot to take into account?

I forgot to consider that the actual openings in the picture frame are not 4x6 inches. Instead they are like an eighth of an inch less in each direction. It doesn't matter vertically, but the horizontal difference means that the vertical separators actually hides only 1 inch of panorama not already in each of the pictures. So the pictures don't completely line up with each other.

It still ended up looking pretty good, so I don't think I will redo the pictures.

If you are interested, here is the full-panorama picture. You can click on it to see the full-sized picture (a not-so-modem-friendly 650k), or you can see a larger (but smaller then full-sized) version here.


Gav said...

now that pic is really weird... I have never seen a pic of the bridge looking back on it from the other way.

its always been from the other side...

nice work

Steve Eck said...