Macro Panorama

After yesterday’s post on panoramic images, illustrated by classic landscape panoramas, I went out to photograph a water lily in my container water garden. After shooting a close-up of the lily, I wondered if the stitching software I used (Photomerge in PS Elements) could handle a multi-row, multi-column image. I also wondered about camera leveling techniques for this – but decided to deal with that tomorrow if Photomerge was up to the stitching task. It was.
For the purists among us, this image is actually a close-up, not a macro.
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Here’s the 3-row, 11-column macro panorama (camera with 105mm macro lens focused at 1:1 magnification and mounted vertically on the tripod). Next to it for comparison is the single shot macro I’d just finished shooting. The coloring and appearance differ slightly because of the way they were processed. The macro comes from a fully processed RAW file and the “panorama” is made from jpeg preview extracts. Said another way – the panorama could be made to look better if I took the time to start with the 33 RAW files.
You might ask a good question – my wife did – why bother with the panorama when in this case a perfectly fine single image macro is possible. Well, the single image is 12 megapixels since that’s my D300’s sensor size. The panorama is over 70 megapixels. One would do the multi-image version if a very large print was required. The 70 megapixels will allow a print of a much larger size than will the single image macro.
Click to enlarge.

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The next time, I’ll see if I can get the camera leveling done better. As it is here, a square crop without cutting of parts of the lily isn’t possible. (In my defense I’ll say that I made no attempt at leveling. I did use a tripod – as always – but wanted to know if PS Elements could even do this. It was shot “manual everything” though to get a seamless final image.)

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