Stitched Panoramic Photos

Panoramic view of the lawn at the University of Virginia

There is an important distinction to make among types of mosaic images: does the point of view change? Most of the mosaic imagery that I produce for preservation work is a composite of images that each have a unique point of view. This is rather useful as it allows a surface to be seen from multiple points of view simultaneously. It allows you to “see around” columns or trees or buttresses…

Mosaic image composed of photos taken at seven unique points of view.

A panoramic photo is a mosaic image that is composed of multiple shots taken from the same point of view that are “stitched together” to form a single sweeping view. These can be very useful in capturing a landscape view of a place, or even a virtual 360 degree view. The technique also can be useful in preservation work when the panoramic images can be projected onto an orthogonal plane. In effect, the “stitching together” of the panorama is giving you access to a sort of virtual super wide angle lens.

The William duPont ceiling in Dolly Madison's room at Montpelier, later Marion duPont's

The image above was created from nine separate images that were stitched together and rectified against the known shape of the ceiling.  This is not necessarily the preferable mean of recording a surface as considerable distortion is noticeable in the corners and edges of the image. (A multiple point of view mosaic can create a more accurate image.) Yet it can be an effective tool for capturing surfaces in tight spaces when other means are not available.

2 responses to “Stitched Panoramic Photos

  1. I am interested in preparing a multiple POV mosaic of petroglyphs carved on the ground. The area is approximately 20mt by 30 mt. Is there a way using a handheld iPad to do this? For the sake of accurate depiction, i will need to take the pictires in a regular grid going from top left to right first and then capturing the frames just below, till I cover the entire area. Have tried panaramio 360 , but it is for single POV.

    • I dont know of a way to do this with an iPad (yet) but I can’t see that it would be advisable anyway since the optics will never approach what is available in more conventional cameras.

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