Creating a panorama of Derwent Water

While on top of Walla Crag last week I took eight hand-held shots in a panorama. I hadn’t played with panorama software for years, and didn’t have fond memories of getting any working properly. It turns out things have improved dramatically, and much of it is free. Top of the search results was Autostitch, a free, fully-automatic photo stitcher. I wasn’t expecting great results, in less than a minute it produced this:

Derwent Water Panorama (360 degrees, 8 images)

Which is pretty impressive! You can barely spot the photo blends, and the wavy orientation is to be expected without a tripod. Autostitch offers very few options, however, and I wanted to change the photo order so the lake was more prominent. After downloading three separate programs – Autopano SIFT 2.3, hugin and enblend – and spending an hour trying to get them working properly, this was the final result:

Alternative Derwent Water Panorama (360 degrees, 8 images)

It’s a little straighter, and the blending is of a slightly higher quality. But the programs failed miserably when the photos were placed in a different order, even when I used a tutorial. This was probably due my lack of understanding rather than a bug, but I couldn’t get it to make sense. I’m sure it’s worth persevering with the complex software, but for quick, high-quality results, I can’t fault Autostitch. All good fun. I’ll have to try more of these.