Well, ok, I actually shot these on the 30th of December, but they got processed today. This is perhaps the best three-frame panorama I’ve shot with the Rollei panorama adapter so far. It’s ALMOST seamless.
This is the ice rink they set up every winter in the fountain of the National Gallery of Art’s Sculpture Garden. The imposing building in the background is the National Archives.
I’ve got this really cool little toy that goes with my Rolleiflex – a panoramic head adapter. It’s basically a little plate with a disc in it divided into twelve segments, and an integrated bubble level. The plate goes between the Rolleiflex and the tripod head. The disc has a locking mechanism and click stops that allow it to be rotated a fixed number of degrees, corresponding to 1/12th of a circle (30 degrees) which is also more or less the field of view of the lens on the Rolleiflex. This would allow you to photograph a 360 degree panorama on a single roll of 120 film.
A 360 degree panorama is a bit much, and pretty tough to pull off. I’ve been playing with doing two-frame and three-frame panoramas, which seem plenty wide already. Here is one I took this afternoon at the little plaza in front of the Tivoli Theater in Columbia Heights.
It does a pretty good job of matching up the frames, with just a few degrees of overlap, enough to make the blending and alignment relatively easy. If you’re paying attention you can see the seams where some things just don’t match up angle-wise, and where the car gets cut off between exposures.
This one I composed a little differently – in selecting what to include, I left a little bit of film border in between each frame because I think it compliments the overall image – the black borders echo nicely the black bars of the fence in front of the bikes. Although I have two bikes in the center frame, and one each in the left and right frames, each frame does feel distinctly different.
I decided to get a little playful and have fun with the crazy angles you can get from a panorama when you aren’t level to the horizon. I wanted all of the conical roof of the turret on the house on the corner in the picture, so I tilted the camera up (the other option would have been to go home and bring a step-ladder, and raise the tripod to its maximum height, and even then I might not have gotten the shot I was looking for).
And last but not least, back to the fully merged panorama. This one I didn’t get the horizon quite as straight as I should have, and so the outside images were a little crooked, and the center one was definitely not level, so I had to play with how I aligned them and cropped them to make it look relatively normal. I like the look of this one despite its flaws.