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Thread: A visit to the Shard

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John Houghton

Posts: 3901
Location: Hitchin, United Kingdom
Registered: 17 Jan 2005
A visit to the Shard
Posted: 14 Jul 2013 at 19:25 GMT
A few days ago I went to London to visit the Shard (tallest building in Europe), hoping to shoot a panorama from one of the public viewing platforms at the top. Alas, the supposed "open" platform was completely surrounded by tall glass sheets having reflections that impair the view to a disastrous extent as far as photography is concerned. You can get an idea of what it's like from this inside view of the platform:

www.johnhpanos.com/shard1.htm

(Handheld 5DII + Canon 8-15mm fisheye) at 15mm).

So in addition to the expected parallax problems, there were these unavoidable reflections to contend with. I ended up by using various bits of 24 images + a separate sky stitched from images shot at a different location the following day. It's therefore a bit of a dog's dinner, but not too awful. In fact, at the full size of 15000x7500 there's an impressive amount of detail visible. However, this version is generated from an 8000x4000 image:

www.johnhpanos.com/shard2.htm

If you thinking of planning a similar trip, I suggest avoiding a sunny day and wear dark clothing. Reflections of my bright checked shirt were all too visible in many of my shots and a nightmare to eliminate!

John
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Tim Eastman

Posts: 210
Location:
Registered: 15 Nov 2006
Re: A visit to the Shard
Posted: 15 Jul 2013 at 2:25 GMT
John:
Amazing, as usual. You are the master.

Tim
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burake

Posts: 333
Location: Antalya, Turkey
Registered: 7 Jun 2012
Re: A visit to the Shard
Posted: 15 Jul 2013 at 6:26 GMT
Great work John. And handheld! Amazing...
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DorinDXN

Posts: 3113
Location: Timisoara, Romania
Registered: 14 Nov 2006
Re: A visit to the Shard
Posted: 15 Jul 2013 at 6:30 GMT
updated: 15 Jul 2013 at 6:46 GMT
Excellent John !

I hope you'll agree with me that this time the parallax wasn't a problem in 2nd. pano and actually help to make the unwanted features invisible.

Thanks to your panos we have a view from the tallest building in Europe even better than we were in real there.

About other similar trips and judging from the first pano, I may add that wearing black clothes and getting as close you can to the glass might help, otherwise a sunny day is good having bright scene outside, from 360° pov an hour with the sun up is mandatory.
Live view enabled camera with articulated LCD could help as well.
A wide lens seems to be more appropriate than a fish eye.
BTW, do you think that touching the glass with a plastic shadower of a wide lens will help?

I saw that certain areas were glass free if you rise the camera on a mono pod. Are mono pods allowed there?

thanks for sharing your excellent work along with as well excellent help here,
Dorin
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John Houghton

Posts: 3901
Location: Hitchin, United Kingdom
Registered: 17 Jan 2005
Re: A visit to the Shard
Posted: 15 Jul 2013 at 8:56 GMT

DorinDXN said:

I hope you'll agree with me that this time the parallax wasn't a problem in 2nd. pano and actually help to make the unwanted features invisible.

Dorin, I don't quite agree with you. Despite the height, parallax effects are still significant because of the wide platform but are largely dealt with by use of Smartblend. I even used viewpoint correction to get better alignment of patch shots by treating the ground as a flat plane.

A wide lens seems to be more appropriate than a fish eye.

I think a wide angle lens might well be preferable to a fisheye. Reflections were particularly troublesome in views of the nadir and a polarizing filter could help there.

BTW, do you think that touching the glass with a plastic shadower of a wide lens will help?

It might. I held the camera as close to the glass as possible but it didn't help with reflections at the edges of the field of view - particularly those of the floorboards and feet.

I saw that certain areas were glass free if you rise the camera on a mono pod. Are mono pods allowed there?

There's very little that you can take up with you. Tripods and monopods are specifically forbidden and must be left with Security.

John
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DorinDXN

Posts: 3113
Location: Timisoara, Romania
Registered: 14 Nov 2006
Re: A visit to the Shard
Posted: 15 Jul 2013 at 9:13 GMT
updated: 15 Jul 2013 at 9:31 GMT
John, I must have been more clear in English, what I meant to say with parallax is if you had one of those white masts or whatever else reflected in glass you can shoot another picture 1 m side or such and that reflection will be over some different features in distant background.
You had to use viewpoint correction because the perspective center was shifted.


Thanks for the extra info.

Dorin
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John Houghton

Posts: 3901
Location: Hitchin, United Kingdom
Registered: 17 Jan 2005
Re: A visit to the Shard
Posted: 15 Jul 2013 at 10:06 GMT
Dorin, Yes, I understood what you were saying. I did in fact take multiple shots from slightly different points to get reflections shifted, as you can see from this pair:



The trouble is that there are hardly any places in the images without reflections of some sort - often only visible when you zoom in.

John
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DorinDXN

Posts: 3113
Location: Timisoara, Romania
Registered: 14 Nov 2006
Re: A visit to the Shard
Posted: 15 Jul 2013 at 10:19 GMT
updated: 15 Jul 2013 at 10:20 GMT
Thanks John also for the cleverly provided cross-eye image, one can get the sense of 3D too.

Yes, at the invisibility of, say, the white mast reflected in right I was thinking.

Dorin
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Tim Eastman

Posts: 210
Location:
Registered: 15 Nov 2006
Re: A visit to the Shard
Posted: 15 Jul 2013 at 12:30 GMT
John:

I did not look at the first link til now, which makes what you did all the more remarkable.
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