On Multimedia & Photography

Archive for the ‘Tools’ Category

Widelux Panoramic Photography Compendium – Tips, links and stories

In Panography, Tools, Widelux on July 3, 2010 at 7:36 pm

Softball Widelux Panorama in Vermont

Recently, I’ve started working with the Widelux – which allows for ‘decisive moment’ panoramas – a specialized Japanese camera now out-of-production, after the Panon factory burnt down . The camera achieves this through a neat 26mm lens that swings across the curved film plane allowing for a 126 degree field of view (140 diagonally across the negative), roughly approximating what we see in front of us. Unlike the extreme distortion you get in ultra-wide or fisheye lenses, the widelux preserves detail evenly while giving a subtle form of distortion.  (Detailed explanation here.)

Photography has always been a way for me to share my experiences, to give a sense of the spaces out there. Panoramas offer a unique aspect ratio to engage viewers. The fact that most 35mm SLRs and DSLR cameras are in 3:2 aspect ratios has intensely affected how we frame, process, print and digest imagery. The exact reason we settled on 3:2 seems to be a point of contention – one photographer attributes this ‘golden rectangle’ sizing to Oscar Barnack, who is credited with engineering the first still-photo camera capitalizing on surplus 35mm cinema-film.  As with any new aspect ratio, I’ve found myself re-creating rules of composition and lighting to work with the widelux.

A lot of point-and-shoot cameras use the 4:3 wider ratio, which more closely matches the increasing glut of widescreen monitors and TVs. As the costs involved in creating digital sensors drop, maybe a digital panoramic camera to span across your HDTV (that isn’t insanely expensive) might become a reality.

In researching panoramic photography particularly related to the widelux,  material out there has been relatively fragmented and sparse so I’ve written this post to aggregate and showcase some of the most useful and inspiring info and imagery  I’ve found. Of course, this is far from final and any additions or corrections are welcome. More after the jump.

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D90 Video – Taipei Night Test with DIY steadicam

In D90, Equipment, Tools, Video on July 15, 2009 at 2:32 pm

Here’s a test-run edit of my new Nikon D90. It’s a little tricky having to pre-plan your focus but overall, I’m pretty happy with the camera & especially with the interchangeable lenses. Used in this clip – 80-400mm 2.8, 85mm 1.8 and a 20mm 2.8 for the scooter and homemade steadicam shots.

Click here for a larger version of the video. For slower computers, I find Vimeo works best in IE over Firefox.

Taiwan-HK Professional Ballroom Dancing Competition

In D90, Equipment, Tools on July 12, 2009 at 2:25 pm

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Totally unplanned, but all the more wonderful for that. I managed to wrangle my way into the event wearing badminton shorts with my D90 and the last business card in my wallet as street cred. After the clunky D3, it’s great to be able to carry a light camera around and catch things like this on the fly.