Chapter 6. Studio 06: On the Boulevards

Peet Simard

When taking photographs with regular cameras, I've often been frustrated by their narrow field of view. Since I didn't want to have to use a swing-lens camera like a Noblex, I turned to panoramic assembly techniques to create this picture, which is part of a series of photographs I took of Paris at dusk.

Hardware used

  • Canon EOS-1Ds digital camera

  • 17–40mm zoom lens and 19mm wide-angle lens

  • Manfrotto 303 panoramic head

  • Gitzo Explorer tripod

  • Power Mac G4 with 450 MHz dual processor

Software used

  • iView MediaPro 2

  • Stitcher 4.01

  • Photoshop CS

  • Debarrelizer Photoshop plug-in

I've always wanted to photograph this intersection of two of Paris's great Haussman-era boulevards, especially from a low angle and with a field of about 200°. But I couldn't do it, neither with a Hasselblad XPan (no perspective correction lens; field of view too narrow) nor a Sinar (no wide-angle lens wide enough). I tried and failed with a 15mm fisheye lens on my Canon 1Ds: I used the Imaging Factory's Debarrelizer plug-in to turn the resulting picture into a horizontal, but the edges were too stretched and the picture wasn't sharp enough to blowup. (The photograph had to be printed in very large format for an exhibition). To solve the problem, I turned to assembly techniques. RealViz's Stitcher program is excellent, because it can assemble low-angle pictures shot with a wide-angle lens while straightening perspectives and correcting optical distortion.

Photos

Assembly ...

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