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Train sized wood working shop (Bluebell Railway)

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m1ke_a

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I shoot 360' VR panoramics for fun and every now and then I pop over the to Bluebell Steam Railway and take some snaps.

Most of the 360's on this gallery page - http://www.mikeanton.com/360panos/Bluebellrailway.html have been taken in the Carriage Works at Horsted Keynes, where the staff and volunteers have been very accommodating with me generally getting in the way.

Pretty much everything is custom built and totally a labour of love. I find it fascinating just standing there looking around.

Mike
 

jimi43

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Astounding photography Mike....I love that technology. Can you explain how you get a total 360 degrees....is the camera on a boom and what sort of camera is it?

Jim
 

Harbo

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There's an iPhone App that will stich photos together.
Also a lens device that you can attach which rotates through 360 but that costs about £90?

Rod
 

m1ke_a

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Cheers chaps

In order to get the full spherical 360' you need to be able to rotate the lens around what is known as its nodal point.

Here's a snap of my pano head



The two sliding rails allow you to move the camera and lens fore and aft and left and right to get the correct nodal point (typically a few mm in from the front lens element). The lower rotator has detent stops to ensure you rotate the whole assembly for the required amount of shots. Getting the correct nodal point to pivot around is important to ensure successful stitches.

You don't have to use a fisheye but their wider field of view cuts down on the number of individual shots you need to take. You can almost get a full 360 with just two fisheye shots but I typically take 6 shots round, one zenith up and one nadir down for the ground.

There's no reason why you can't use a little compact camera, providing you can rotate round the nodal point.

I also exposure bracket each shot to get a higher dynamic range (HDR). So for these scenes I took a total of 24 shots. For the pano of 5768 each scene had 0.5, 2 and 8 sec exposures, so a sturdy tripod is a must.

You then need to merge the HDR shots to something natural looking and then stitch the resultant output together to create the final Flash output file. For the 5768 pano I have 1.3GB of files.

Shooting a pano generally takes a couple of minutes, it's the post processing that can take hours!

Dave Clarke, one of the regulars there, has loads of close up shots on his Flickr site which give a much more detailed idea of what they do and the challenges they face. 8)

I don't know about full workshop access but if you can, I definitely recommend a visit to the Bluebell. (BTW I'm not connected to them in any way).
 

jimi43

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Hi Mike

Thanks for the superb and clear explanation of the process.

I have made panorama when that fantastic (but primitive now) stitching concept first appeared and was aware then that nodal point (and then, focal length) were elements of successful results but that was only 2D!

Thanks my friend...I think it has inspired me to revisit....the last time I was there was with my first puppy...19 years ago...he got soot in his eye....chaos ensued!!

Take care

Jimi
 

m1ke_a

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jimi43":3690a4qr said:
Hi Mike

Thanks for the superb and clear explanation of the process.

I have made panorama when that fantastic (but primitive now) stitching concept first appeared and was aware then that nodal point (and then, focal length) were elements of successful results but that was only 2D!

Thanks my friend...I think it has inspired me to revisit....the last time I was there was with my first puppy...19 years ago...he got soot in his eye....chaos ensued!!

Take care

Jimi
Hi Jim and you're welcome.

Without taking this off topic too much, here are some links to peruse.
Nodal Ninja heads
PtGui stitching software
HDR

And if you want to look at very high end giga pixel work, try 360cities
 

m1ke_a

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knappers":3e993pjz said:
How do you take the floor shot?
S.
Magic :wink:
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Nah that pano head allows you to point the camera down and you move the whole lot over a foot or so to shoot the floor. You can then either get lucky and it stitches very quickly, or you have to tinker with the nadir shot to clean it up.

This one was a pig to work on as I moved the tripod three times so had nine tripod leg shadows to remove, plus complete remove a 4th person in the scene who moved too much
 

Lowlife

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Great photos and a fantastic place! I haven't visited the Bluebell Line for over 20 years, I used to go regularly when I lived in Brighton but haven't been again since I got married, it doesn't help that She isn't interested!

I can't wait until my grandkids, now 18 months, are old enough to appreciate steam trains and I'll have a good excuse to go again.

I particularly like the interior shots of "Myrtle", beautiful woodwork and it's exactly the look I want to achieve for the cabin interior on my boat, I'll put that one in my favourites for future reference, thanks.
 
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