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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

High-Tech Landscapes


Improved Dynamic Range • Expanded ISO • Extended Depth Of Field • High-Resolution Panoramas Digital Ground Glass

Labels: How-ToColumnTech Tips
Be forewarned: These techniques produce extremely large image files, but they also can be printed to gigantic proportions with no loss of detail. The largest of these to date is a 360º capture of London created by panorama specialists 360 Cities (www.btlondon2012.co.uk/pano.html), comprised of more than 48,000 individual frames that, printed at normal resolution, would measure 321x78 feet. Take a look at this ultimate panorama!
Now there are lots of ways to capture multiple images and compile them into one high-resolution panorama. We still have to move the camera to capture the landscape, but mechanical advancements have given us some very precise tools with which to accomplish this.
Digital Ground Glass
Photographers using large format can check their work on the ground glass, which displays the image to be taken by the camera before the film holder is inserted. The LCD on the back of a DSLR, in Live View mode, is a similar tool, but considerably smaller. Both methods are restricted by their size, resolution and unfortunate attachment to the camera. Cue technology! Now we can use a smartphone (not much bigger than the camera LCD) or, better, a tablet such as the iPad (6x8 inches) to remotely engage Live View and control capture settings on the camera.

The system I use a lot these days is the CamRanger (www.camranger.com). Using an ad hoc WiFi signal, it allows me to monitor Live View, change focus, enlarge portions of the previewed image to set critical focus and adjust any of the other major camera settings, such as ISO, ƒ-stop, shutter speed, time-lapse or control stacking, all on my iPad, from a distance of up to 150 feet. Why would I do that? First, that big, beautiful, high-res "viewfinder" helps me to compose and focus my image more precisely. But I'm finding this rig works really well when photographing in harsh or dangerous conditions, such as in a lightning storm, or through the night in a wild location, when the camera can stay outside, but I'm safer and warmer in my vehicle.

Follow George Lepp's exploits, see his latest photographs and be part of the discussion on his Facebook page: www.facebook.com/georgelepp. And Lepp is now a part of the OP Blog on our website, www.outdoorphotographer.com/blog/author/glepp.

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