Of Bikes, Beauties and Bell Towers
Sunday 3 July 2016 — Category: Outings
|Continuing one block southwest on 12th Avenue, I came to the historic (built 1890) First Presbyterian Church, which occupies the city block between SW Morrison & Alder Streets, and 12th & 13th Avenues.
It was quite a challenge to photograph its 185-foot bell tower. I was standing across the street, only 60 feet away, so it was not possible to fit the entire tower into a single shot. Therefore I had the idea to take multiple photos and stitch them together back home to create a panorama.
There are a couple of problems with this method which can cause the results to be less than ideal. First, there are parallax errors which occur when moving the camera between shots. I was shooting hand-held, but it is equally a problem when using a tripod.
On top of parallax errors is the extreme perspective distortion inherent in wide-angle-lens photography. Combined, these two problems can be enough to make it impossible to create a good-quality panorama.
In the past I had used the PTGui software to create my panoramas. However, I have been making panoramas right inside Adobe Lightroom ever since they added that feature to version 6.0 in April 2015. It works well enough that I have stopped using PTGui.
Once Lightroom stitched together the three original photos, I did some manual tweaking to try to improve the image. Despite the significant parallax and perspective problems, I think the final version turned out quite well. There is still some distortion, but that is due to laws of optics which cannot be overcome.
It wasn’t until I was writing the caption for this photo that I realized I had taken photos of this church last year. Those were from the south side of the property, while this one here was from the north.
As usual, you can click on the photos on this page to see larger versions. Or you can browse through them in the Portland Miscellaneous 2016 album.
Of course, this little walk was only the precursor of my primary outing that day. For all of those details, see A Pictorial ABC of Portland’s NW Alphabet District.