WEEK 30 – ULTRA WIDE ANGLE

This week we will create an ultra wide angle photograph, 120° or even wider and you are challenged to create such a photograph without using an ultra wide angle lens.
In photography, a wide-angle lens refers to a lens whose focal length is substantially smaller than the focal length of a normal lens for a given film plane respectively to the sensor of a digital camera. This type of lens allows more of the scene to be included in the photograph, which is useful in architectural, interior and landscape photography where the photographer may not be able to move further from the scene to photograph it.
Nowadays practically all cameras come with zoom lenses with a maximum view angle of approx. 75° diagonally (focal length 28mm full-frame respectively 18mm for APS-C sensor), mobile phone cameras have usually a moderate wide angle lens with a view angle of approx. 65°.
Ultra wide angle lenses are lenses covering angles wider than 90° and I realise that not everyone has access to such a lens and if you have one, I ask you not to use it this time.

This week’s challenge is to create an ultra wide angle photo covering an angle of considerably more than 90° (horizontally) by taking a series of photos taken with a standard or moderate wide angle lens and stitching them together using stitching software as is used to produce panorama photos.

This way you can produce ultra wide angle photos in quite high resolution without the requirement or the expense of a special lens. You need to take a series of several photos (the number depends on the lens used and the angle you want to cover) overlapping at least 30%, the exposure should be the same from one image to the next. It’s best to take some sample shots in different directions and then use manual mode set to an average exposure, aperture and speed in manual. Especially indoors use the maximum aperture opening to get the required depth of field for every single photo. The use of a tripod is certainly advantageous but not absolutely necessary, all following example photos were taken with the camera handheld.

This photo of the interior is of the Design Center Linz / Austria, covers an angle of nearly 180° and was stitched from a series of six photos taken with a handheld mobile phone (size in full resolution 9416 x 2564 pixels):

Design Center Linz by Klaus Deisenberger

If you don’t have Photoshop or similar software capable of stitching, don’t worry, a lot of stitching programs are available as freeware, just Google “photo stitching software”. I normally use the Microsoft Image Composite Editor, which is free, it can handle RAW files and is easy to use. The files you get after stitching are quite large, so if you don’t need the final image in full resolution it is advisable to compress the individual images prior to stitching.

The following photo of the Stadtpfarrkirche in Linz / Austria consists of 24 images in two rows that were stitched (MS ICE), with a view angle of nearly 180°. Two rows had to be used because of the height of the room, 13.862 x 3603 pixels full size.

Stadtpfarrkirche Linz by Klaus Deisenberger

The big hall in a medieval castle, view angle nearly 180°, 5 photos (28m lens full-frame) stitched in Microsoft Image Composite Editor:

Great Hall in Burg Hardegg / Lower Austria by Klaus Deisenberger

The courtyard of the Schlossmuseum Linz / Austria, angle nearly 180°, 6 photos (portrait format) taken with 28m lens (full-frame) stitched in Microsoft Image Composite Editor full size image 16.907 x 6853 pixels

Schlossmuseum Linz / Austria by Klaus Deisenberger

The following image shows a shopping mall during Covid 19 lockdown, viewing angle of nearly 180°. 12 photos (portrait format) taken with my mobile phone (viewing angle approx. 75° diagonally), 9452 x 4047 pixels in full resolution.

Shopping Mall Plus City Leonding / Austria by Klaus Deisenberger

Challenge Summary

  • Create a new image covering a horizontal angle 120° or more by stitching a series of photos taken with standard or moderate wide angle lens.
  • Don’t use an ultra wide angle lens capable of taking the final image with just one shot.
  • Specify how many individual photos were required to produce the stitched final image, which focal lenth (angle) was used and approximate angle of the final image.
  • Please remember to comment on at least FIVE photo submissions this week by answering the question “why?” in your comments. In other words, “why do I like (or not like) this photo?” or “why did this photo catch my eye?” Thank you!

RELATED CHALLENGES

The friendly community guidelines are pretty simple

  • Take a new photo for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
  • Post your photo each week to our active communities on Facebook or Flickr(or both). Tag the photo:  #2021photochallenge #photochallenge #tempusaura
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2021 Trevor Carpenter Photo Challenge is fun and easy.

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