I’ve long been a fan of photographic panoramas. Once a long time ago, we went to the farm near Dyersville, Iowa, where “Field of Dreams” was filmed, and I took a series of shots of the baseball field from the farmhouse porch. When I got the pictures back, I spent a while creating a mosaic of the shots, then had them mounted and framed as a present for my dad. I think he’s still got it hanging on his wall. One of the unexpected artifacts in the pictures was a guy who was walking along the right-field and first-base line; he appears in several shots in the “panorama.”
Nowadays, I’m sure there’s some sort of really good software that helps you stitch together digital pictures. Me, I have an application for the Mac called DoubleTake that does an OK job. One of the first things you realize when using it, though, is that it can’t really give you a seamless rendering of more than two shots. Not that I mind–I’m not a pro and I’m taking pictures with a pocket-sized camera.
But every once in a while, I wish I had the equipment, the knowledge, and the other wherewithal that would knit together with my enthusiasm for wide-angle scenes. Case in point: This evening just before sunset, we got an exceedingly rare July rainfall. The sun was below the edge of the clouds, and as soon as the rain started falling–very lightly–I knew we’d see a rainbow. And in a few minutes, there it was: a full arch and a full “double” image. The colors on the descending legs were so bright they appeared fluorescent. I ran in the house and got the beat-up Casio and shot away. I shot away knowing that I wouldn’t capture the real brilliance of the light and that I’d need three shots, minimum, to get the full expanse of the rainbow.
So that’s where that image up there comes from (click for a larger image–the full size is 2400×900-some pixels). To make the rainbow look continuous, I compromised on the bottom edge of the pictures, where you can see some strange things happening with trees and houses.
On to the next experiment. (And if you want to check out a panoramic picture system, take a look at this.)