Photo of the Day: Virtual Planetoid

A virtual "planetoid" in Garden of the Gods, Colorado (click to enlarge).

Today, I decided to fuel my creativity by trying a special form of 360° pano… the “virtual planet,” or 300 degree stereographic projection.

I started by using my RRS multi-row pano kit, with my Nikon D700 and 35mm f/2.0 AFD Nikkor lens. I made a four-row pano, with each series rotating the complete 360° around the scene. Each image was made 30° apart on the horizontal axis, to provide good overlap when stitching.

The images were then converted from RAW and sent to PTGui Pro, my current pano-stitching software. From there, I aligned the images and used the “300° stereographic” settings to create the initial stitch. I fine-tuned the image to get the desired effect, and then sent the composite to Photoshop CS5, where I used content-aware fill to get rid of the little donut hole that’s formed in the very center of the frame (where my tripod was).

The final result is pretty interesting!

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