The nice thing about hugin is that it generates both files for you, the normal blend and the enfused one. That allows you to compare. This one above is the enfused one and I think it does a much better job. It’s matched and dealt with the lighting changes across the field much better. No (overtly obvious) joins!
I said that I’d had a quiet weekend blog-wise as we were away in Kona for a two day swimming event. Mira swims for the Hilo Aquatics Swimming Club (HAQ) also knows as “The Poi Dog Paddlers”! That’s a great name and emphasizes the mix of cultures that the club celebrates and the feeling of ohana that permeates the team.
Having made the Long Course State Championships last summer, Mira was aiming to qualify again for the Short Course State Champs in two weeks time, but having only just aged-up in the last two weeks, the new times she needed were out of reach this time. But to her total credit, she continued her good progress (after a shaky start to the season) and has her sights on the summer Champs.
Here she is with dad having a little snack between events.
I was also pleased to discover that Jao is a user of hugin, which I talked briefly about in a previous post, and will likely post about in future ones. Jao has a smugmug page set up showing some of his panoramic images which is really well worth a look. There is some excellent work there, and the lesson to take away from it (and what I have to learn) is that panoramics do not have to be linear, long and thin. Explore all dimensions available…
It was a quiet weekend for me with regard to this blog as we were in Kona for a swimming meet. More on that later, in the meantime…
In his post, A Very Voggy Day, Andrew provides a nice link to the MODIS satellite which took visual images of the island. The clouds are the really white, fluffy stuff. The murky, grey looking stuff is the vog which is generated by Kilauea and which the trade winds carry off to the rest of the island chain.
When I did the first part of this post, I said that if Keck were shooting lasers into the sky again I would try to get another night time image, but using the tripod. I did try again the following night but we were quite busy so I didn’t get the chance to get out until late. But good news, the laser was still firing, so I set up the camera on the tripod and went outside. I set the camera up and pointed roughly in the right direction (it was dark out there, you can see anything through the camera’s eyepiece!). I set the camera to its bulb setting and f/8 aperture, manual focus set to infinity and I was ready. I looked up and… no laser! WHAT? They’d switched it off! It was bloody freezing as well.
[I’m sorry, I have to tell this because as I write that phrase – “bloody freezing!” – it reminds me of a story. I studied for my PhD in Edinburgh and one of my fellow students was a Canadian named Steve Torchinsky. For obvious reasons I called him “The Torch”. He told me a story that has stuck with me, about when he was in an Edinburgh pub and a happy but drunken Scotsman started talking to him for no other reason than he was there (it happens). Then he found out The Torch was from Canada and exclaimed the following. Now you must understand, this is only very funny if you say the following in a drunken Scottish accent, otherwise it’s just merely amusing. The drunken Scotsman said, “Don’t talk to me aboot Kanada, Eye’ve bin to Kanada. It’s bloody freeezin‘ in Kanada. It’s so kold in Kanada, the snot FRO-OZE up me NO-OZE!” I love Scotland, and I love the Scottish people… especially the drunken ones. And yes, it is cold in Kanada.]
I got luckier the next day, but I kept one eye on the Keck while I set up the camera and tripod. The following was the result after a 3 minute bulb exposure at f/8.
As I turned around to go back into the building I noticed that rising over in the East was the Southern Cross. So I set the camera up and exposed it for a minute. I was quite happy with the result, composed with the entrance to the JCMT.
The image above was taken a couple of nights ago as we finished our night shift, observing at the JCMT. It’s a panoramic image, three images going left to right – can you spot the join? – taken from the summit of Mauna Kea. In the distance is Mauna Loa.
For panoramic images I use a great piece of software called hugin. It’s donationware, but it is a great piece of software and although it doesn’t always produce a final stitch product (which has only happened to me a few times) when it works, it works better than any other piece of stitching software I have used before. I must admit though, the exposure blending didn’t work marvelously well this time (you can see the joins, right?) probably because the light changes quite quickly at that time of day.
This was a hard exposure to get right because the ground is dark and the sky is bright. I had no choice really but to expose for the sky as that’s where all the interesting detail and colours are, and hope that I could recover the rest in my Lightroom. I like the final result.