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Thread: Is stitching the future of photography?

  1. #1

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    Is stitching the future of photography?

    Seen the recent thread on Chris Jordan's garage sale and the debate thereof, a simple question came to my mind. Is stitching the future way of photography? Finally, we have a way to get the LF resolution without the LF gear, some say! Better color control, they add! No chemistry to bother with, to pollute the world! Much better than even 8x10 in terms of resolution... Heck - am I missing something? Is the LF just a question of resolution? Is stitching the future way to see a picture I want to take? Don't I miss something when I see the scene just in terms of stitched pieces of a greater mosaic?

  2. #2

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    Re: Is stitching the future of photography?

    By my calcs, you'd need to shoot over 400 images with a Canon 5D to come close to matching the size of a LF frame. You want to set up over 400 times, calculating perfectly the size and angle from which to shoot from? And composition? Forget it.

  3. #3

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    Re: Is stitching the future of photography?

    The biggest drawback I see is the fact that you can forget the photography of a moving scene. Seeing the world around you without its movement is the worst abstraction I can imagine. Sure, the traditional photography freezes the moment but that is completely different from being blind to everything that moves. Having a technically correct pinhole with short exposure times and a sharp picture but the limitation of my vision that a pinhole has is like closing myself in an artistic prison. Interesting for a time, detrimental later.

  4. #4
    Greg Lockrey's Avatar
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    Re: Is stitching the future of photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by Downix View Post
    By my calcs, you'd need to shoot over 400 images with a Canon 5D to come close to matching the size of a LF frame. You want to set up over 400 times, calculating perfectly the size and angle from which to shoot from? And composition? Forget it.
    Getting the alignment really isn't the problem, have a computer with enough memory and speed to handle the file size is. Someday we'll have sensors large enough that are cost effective for us poor boys.
    Greg Lockrey

    Wealth is a state of mind.
    Money is just a tool.
    Happiness is pedaling +25mph on a smooth road.



  5. #5

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    Re: Is stitching the future of photography?

    GPS, I spent about a year producing 1, 2 and 3 GB landscape images (Nikon D2X, 200f2, 500 f4). I never had a hardware problem but experienced numerous software issues. Also "movement" was not a issue (with experience). However, there are innumerable transition issues between frames. ALSO, the MAJOR PROBLEM with landscape work is DOF - the only solution is to use a small digicam (with their inherent DOF advantage).

    Bottom line, I sold all my digital gear and bought LF. Life is good again.

  6. #6

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    Re: Is stitching the future of photography?

    GPS, I have some (1.5 and 2 GB) images of Denali shot from Wonder Lake last summer. Was using a D2X (best camera for GB work) with a 200mm f2 mounted on an Arca Cube The detail is beyond description and a real blast to view.

  7. #7

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    Re: Is stitching the future of photography?

    Who can predict the future?

    Stitching is not the future, it is the present. It's a great solution for some things. Film is a great solution for other things. What I look for are solutions to my visual quest not idol worshipping of one particular technology.

    I bet you someone wrote the fall of the camera obscura when people started using lenses instead of well crafted pinholes. Grin.

    That said, I just did an assignment for Landscape Architecture Magazine, where the Art Director's request was that I "Turn up the funk." The job was a outside environmental portrait of an author in a "New-Urbanist" subdivision.

    So by using digital stitching, I was able for make a panoramic image of the subdivision (two layers of 12 images each made on a Nikon D200 with a 28-mm PC lens on a Really Right Stuff panoramic head), and place the author in four different locations in the photograph, one of which he is close to and looking at the camera.

    For the art director, this was turning up the funk and he loved it. I get paid, I get more work in the future, and I'm able to pay my mortgage and put food on the table.

    Now I could have made a traditional image on LF if that's what the art director wanted.

    Bottom line, unless someone is shooting at you, life is good regardless of the tools you use to complete your vision.

  8. #8
    Whatever David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Re: Is stitching the future of photography?

    One decisive moment or so many indecisive moments? It could be interesting as an effect, but it seems like it makes most kinds of photography unnecessarily complicated.

  9. #9

    Re: Is stitching the future of photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by GPS View Post
    Seen the recent thread on Chris Jordan's garage sale and the debate thereof, a simple question came to my mind. Is stitching the future way of photography? Finally, we have a way to get the LF resolution without the LF gear, some say! Better color control, they add! No chemistry to bother with, to pollute the world! Much better than even 8x10 in terms of resolution... Heck - am I missing something? Is the LF just a question of resolution? Is stitching the future way to see a picture I want to take? Don't I miss something when I see the scene just in terms of stitched pieces of a greater mosaic?

    Part of it is simply how you want to work. Do you want to grow your butt at a computer stitching a bunch of frames together? Or would you rather spend that time in the field being a photographer? For me, and many others LF is about much more than the statistics of the final result. We don't have to invest in new equipment and software every two or three years, to eek things up a notch. Really thats just touching the surface of what goes on. And more than anything, its a process, as in the old " Its a LF thing, if I have to explain it, you wouldn't understand." So if it floats your boat, right on, but I wont be doing it anytime soon.

    The short answer is that yes, its about much more than resolution, and apeing the process digitally, while having its own points and reward, has little in common with what it seeks to imitate, from a LF photographer point of view. For me, too much manipulation simply pounds the life out of the process.

    Resolution is now basically the big fish game, and matters not, as the fish are big enough these days. The older fisherman realizes its about being fishing, and being out on the lake, not the size of the fish.

    Making big prints is fun, but its not why I photograph LF, and I would bet that its not what drives most others, either.

    Also, and there are other threads for the debate of this, but you need to realize that digital devices and computers are not generally a "greener" activity than film.

  10. #10

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    Re: Is stitching the future of photography?

    "Is stitching the future of photography?"

    Depends. In my day job I use nothing but digital cameras and extensive stitching so like Walter said, stitching is the present for me - not the future. In the context of industrial photography, these are *the* tools to use (at least in my case).

    Having said that, outside of work I use nothing but LF gear, film, and silver paper.
    I cannot fathom using digital anything in my personal work so I practice "unplugged" photography.

    Every tool has a place and a time. Take your pick.

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