How to shoot a panoramic up close where you cannot back up...sliding a tripod horizontally maybe somehow?

cayenne

EOS R6
CR Pro
Mar 28, 2012
2,614
581
HI all,

Ok, I hope I can describe my problem I'm trying to solve.

I have a VERY ornate house, 2 stories, that is pretty big and wide that I want to shoot the whole thing of...in a big panoramic image.

The problem is that just beyond the sidewalk is a big ass tree, and also a power pole with wires, etc.

So, I cannot back up further than the side walk and get a clean image of just the house.

The house is so wide that setting a tripod up in the middle and swinging the lens will not capture both ends of it properly.

My first thought, impractical as it is...was, that if I had a dolly and rail set up, like they often do for movies, I could set that up and make my camera essentials be on one big slider and shoot 3 different vertical levels on each pass to get the top, middle and bottom...and stitch together.

I don't have a dolly and rail system.

So, trying to figure how to do this. I could maybe get one of those rigs, to put wheels on the bottom of the tripod and slide it back and forth that way...but no good way to guarantee that each shot would be at the same place (remember, I'm also shooting 3 vertical level to get it all in)....how do I stay on a straight line and take each image at the same spots?

I then thought, well, perhaps I could get one of those carpenters' chalk line type things I"ve seen on TV house renovations shows and get a friend to help and snap a line down the side walk and then maybe mark where the wheels are each time I stop the first time...that might do it.

At that point it seemed the wheels aren't really adding anything to the equation and I could just do this with my regular tripod. I could mark where each foot was at each capture point down the line.

So far, this is the best I could come up with.

I would have to ask the home owner if he was ok with me marking on the sidewalk in front of his house.
Does anyone know how permanent chalk markings of this type are? I live in the New Orleans area and we get a LOT of rain here, so I was hoping it would naturally wash off in a matter of days or a week or so.

So....this is the best I've come up with so far.

Has anyone else had to do a shoot in this fashion? Is there a better solution?

Thank you in advance,

cayenne
 

Joules

doom
CR Pro
Jul 16, 2017
1,637
1,984
Hamburg, Germany
The house is so wide that setting a tripod up in the middle and swinging the lens will not capture both ends of it properly.
Can you describe (or illustrate, either with a picture or drawing) what is improper about the result you get from regular panoramic techniques?

Also, if you just want some straight line that you can follow, the easiest option I can think of is tensioning some Form of string between two points. Either anker the ends into the ground if they are above dirt, or use stands, like tripods.
 

dcm

It's not the gear. But it helps.
CR Pro
Apr 18, 2013
946
515
Colorado, USA
Rough dimensions and distances might help the more mathematically inclined. Focal length options would also be useful.

Is this something that could be handled by a TS-E?
 
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old-pr-pix

EOS RP
Dec 26, 2011
425
64
If you decide to use the carpenter's chalk line approach, the type of chalks available are graded by their permanence. Different manufacturers may use different schemes but for the brand I use white and light green will wash right off. Red would be there essentially forever. Orange and blue are somewhere in between. While checking with the homeowner is advised, the sidewalk most likely is actually the city's property.
 

cayenne

EOS R6
CR Pro
Mar 28, 2012
2,614
581
Hmm. I don't have the dimensions of the place.
Lemme see if I can sketch up something rudimentary to give an idea.

But the basics is, that I have to shoot closer to the house than I'd normally want to avoid blockages.

And on the far sides of the house recessed back from the frontmost part of the house (in the center) is detail and things I'd like to see....and from the center where I might be trying to shoot a pano by just swinging the lens back and forth, you cannot see that far back on each side.

I hope this gives a bit more detail.

I'm no drawing artist, but I'll see if I can come up with something, maybe a top down view of the problems....

But again, from the center of the house. as close as I'd have to be...I cannot fully see all the detail on each end that is recessed back some.

Thanks for all the suggestions...please keep it coming!!

cayenne
 

tolusina

EOS RP
Mar 1, 2012
795
15
It's very unlikely that the sidewalk is true flat and true to level making it a lousy reference surface.
How about a contractor's laser to provide reference planes? You'll need a target on your camera support and means to set it plumb.
Have you looked into renting a dolly and rail system?
 

cayenne

EOS R6
CR Pro
Mar 28, 2012
2,614
581
It's very unlikely that the sidewalk is true flat and true to level making it a lousy reference surface.
How about a contractor's laser to provide reference planes? You'll need a target on your camera support and means to set it plumb.
Have you looked into renting a dolly and rail system?
Thanks for the input.

Well, like most stitched panos I've taken in the past, it doesn't have to be "perfect"....the stitching software usually does great with enough overlapping.

And as far as renting, this isn't likely to be a large money maker, so I'm not looking to spend a lot of money on it.

Although solving the problem might apply itself to future shoots that might make a buck that require the same type of solution to the shot.

Thank you for your input and reply!!!

Please keep them coming!!

cayenne
 

Sporgon

5% of gear used 95% of the time
CR Pro
HI all,

Ok, I hope I can describe my problem I'm trying to solve.

I have a VERY ornate house, 2 stories, that is pretty big and wide that I want to shoot the whole thing of...in a big panoramic image.

The problem is that just beyond the sidewalk is a big ass tree, and also a power pole with wires, etc.

So, I cannot back up further than the side walk and get a clean image of just the house.
I know well the situation that you describe, where you have a majestic building with lots of presence, but you can't get far enough away from it to view the whole thing yourself let alone with a camera. From my experience panoramics don't really help much in these situations; you are stitching to make a wider format, increasing the format size but shrinking the focal length, and in the resulting picture the building has become small and insignificant, losing all of its presence that you feel when standing next to it. For this reason you might as well use your DSLR and hire a TS-E 17, or a 11-24 whatever, the results will be the same, a disappointedly insignificant representation of the real thing.

It might be worth trying a polyptych style image where you take separate shots of the building and then put them together (not jointed together) to give the impression of the whole building. Shooting obliquely along the building can help. This can be very effective when done well.
 

cayenne

EOS R6
CR Pro
Mar 28, 2012
2,614
581
I know well the situation that you describe, where you have a majestic building with lots of presence, but you can't get far enough away from it to view the whole thing yourself let alone with a camera. From my experience panoramics don't really help much in these situations; you are stitching to make a wider format, increasing the format size but shrinking the focal length, and in the resulting picture the building has become small and insignificant, losing all of its presence that you feel when standing next to it. For this reason you might as well use your DSLR and hire a TS-E 17, or a 11-24 whatever, the results will be the same, a disappointedly insignificant representation of the real thing.

It might be worth trying a polyptych style image where you take separate shots of the building and then put them together (not jointed together) to give the impression of the whole building. Shooting obliquely along the building can help. This can be very effective when done well.
Thank you for the reply.

I think what I"m trying to come up with...IS shooting obliquely along the building....and stitching those together for a pano, rather than keeping a tripod in one place and swinging the camera around on it....

At least that's my thought so far.

I"m still working on it...

Again, thank YOU and everyone else for the great input so far...I'm still trying to work to get a crude drawing others have requested to describe the situation.

C
 

stevelee

FT-QL
CR Pro
Jul 6, 2017
2,028
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Davidson, NC
Without a fuller understanding of the situation, I think this sounds like a job for a wide-angle TS-E lens. I took pictures of my house from fairly close, using the shifts in all directions. I got the sides of the neighboring houses in the picture. Photoshop stitched the pictures together flawlessly. I gather than you don't think the financial reward would justify the lens rental price, though. A bracket that holds the lens in place while the camera shifts could help. And if you have just a regular lens, you could use a bracket that lets you rotate around the lens's nodal point. Displacing the camera and lens by a noticeable amount could easily get the dreaded message from your stitching software that the images cannot be combined.
 

cayenne

EOS R6
CR Pro
Mar 28, 2012
2,614
581
Without a fuller understanding of the situation, I think this sounds like a job for a wide-angle TS-E lens. I took pictures of my house from fairly close, using the shifts in all directions. I got the sides of the neighboring houses in the picture. Photoshop stitched the pictures together flawlessly. I gather than you don't think the financial reward would justify the lens rental price, though. A bracket that holds the lens in place while the camera shifts could help. And if you have just a regular lens, you could use a bracket that lets you rotate around the lens's nodal point. Displacing the camera and lens by a noticeable amount could easily get the dreaded message from your stitching software that the images cannot be combined.
No...any single lens will not cover the shoot.
I don't mind renting, etc.

I'll have to draw something up.

But no single lens, even shifted would cover the entire front of the house, especially on the sides where it goes back....I can't see the full house from as close as I need to shoot it.

That's why I was thinking rather than keep the tripod center and swinging the lens back and forth. I'd somehow keep the lens on the tripod centered, and move the whole tripod from far left....in increments, to the far right.

Essentially be a human slider and stitching those together.

The part I was trying to figure out, was how to ensure that the camera on tripod was in the same place each time, as that I will have to do one sweep with the lens up, a second sweep with the lens in the middle and a 3rd sweep to get the full lower half.

I'm really trying to explain....I'll try to get some sort of illustration together....

But the main thing is, from the position the side walk which is fairly close to the building...there is no one single place I can place the tripod with one lens, any lens and "see" the whole thing....

Thank you very much for the reply and input....I'm trying to figure how to describe it better....

C
 

Sporgon

5% of gear used 95% of the time
CR Pro
So you’re looking at doing a double or triple stacker pano. Decent software will stitch it all OK if you use a lens that doesn’t have too much distortion (don’t use a zoom) but as I said before, you risk the resulting image looking like a dolls house.
 
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stevelee

FT-QL
CR Pro
Jul 6, 2017
2,028
773
Davidson, NC
My guess is that once you stitch it together you would get something out of Escher. I once stitched together some shots I had made of my hotel room in New Orleans. I inadvertently included a shot made from a different spot in the room of the other side. Photoshop dutifully stitched it all together, creating such perspective.
 

Valvebounce

EOS R5
CR Pro
Apr 3, 2013
4,550
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Isle of Wight
Hi Cayenne.
Why not take the 3 height shots at one point, with a gear head (or a built in level (most cameras have one now don’t they?)if you don’t have a gear head) you should be able to replicate the angle close enough at each point.
I don’t see much issue with exact positioning lengthwise, providing you remain parallel to the property and as near perpendicular as you can manage the software will probably manage a stitch. If software can stitch a handheld multi row panorama of a cathedral taken with a 100-400 lens on 400, I’m sure it can manage a well executed parallel panorama of a house! The one thing I have found is keep the overlap as large as possible, i.e. take lots of shots and move a little!

Cheers, Graham.
 
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