Thoughts on Panorama

Initially I was obsessed with the idea of panoramas. I took my first shots at Hubbard Hall and the Photoshop stitching blew me away. The question though, was how to make a panorama interesting and unique?

I went out to the quad at night, took the standard night time photos, and got bored. For two nights, I experimented with different techniques while the shutter was open, fearing the loss of my fingers from cold, but interested in creating a surreal light flash landscape. I was satisfied the most with shots where I moved the camera slightly up and down at each panorama shot of the quad. This proved the easiest to line up by hand in Photoshop, with some changes in color balance, curves, and blending in layers. I am extremely happy with how the stitching and final panorama turned out. Following Meg’s suggestion to copy the layer, flip it upside down, and make a water reflection, I successfully created somewhat of a mirage, or alternate reality of Bowdoin, which some people even interpreted as a city on a river. I was delighted that people saw my manipulation as reality.

This project is in the same thread as my other photographic projects in terms of finding or creating the unexpected with a familiar subject or format. I have to say, my photoshop manipulations in the panorama are quite noteworthy, blending in layers to create a river bank and water reflection was not so easy. My panorama could have been stronger and more realistic if I had blurred or pulled the lights in the water to look like more of a reflection. Or maybe create a warped reality by putting a focused and still night time panorama of the quad as the reflection. Now that’s a seriously warped reality. I also wish I had cropped the width down and printed it larger. But overall, thumbs up!

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