Multi-Imaging

Photographic opportunities where a single image is insufficient include gallery presentations, spherical imaging, and extreme-resolution murals.

Some events change so rapidly that it's impossible to press the shutter at the right time. Instead, place the camera in a fixed position and take multiple shots without trying to capture the ideal image.

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This extensive collection of images will undoubtedly include several favorites. Edit carefully and find yours. The creative process has changed from selecting the perfect print and pressing the shutter at the right time to collecting a representative sampling and making your final analysis later, in post-production.

Reflect grid

Editing and cropping to this ideal format produce a collection of carefully selected images. These winning photographs can be presented individually or as a gallery representing the dynamic nature of the original scene.

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A gallery view extends the concept of a single image and represents a photographic impression of movement.


Extending time beyond the usual "click" to include long exposures and multiple imaging provides additional areas for exploration.


Especially in these situations, experimentation is the key, as the camera becomes the teacher.

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I still enjoy using my original Kodak Brownie Hawkeye from my antique camera collection. While I also use a Shen-Hao large-format studio camera and similar exotic equipment, it's somewhat liberating to return to my first camera and relive the early experience that initiated my interest in photography. The Brownie initially cost $5.50, takes 12 exposures on 620 film, and demonstrates that it's not the camera that determines the final result.

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Combining multiple images of a scene to create a single photograph has two significant advantages. You can photograph a subject of any size, including 360-degree panoramas, and the final high-definition image can have unlimited sharpness. Any photograph may be enlarged to cover a wide area, like a billboard, but the resulting image will not be sharp. With multi-imaging, the final result can easily maintain archival quality when viewed at gallery distance.

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I begin by taking six overlapping images. It's essential to match each image by at least 1/4 of the frame, providing enough information so that the stitching software can blend the images seamlessly. Focus, aperture, and shutter speed must be identical for all images. This uniformity is easy to achieve with the Brownie because these parameters are fixed, and the only variables are where to point the camera and when to push the button.

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The six images in this panorama are combined to form a single image. I use PTGui stitching software because it offers a wide variety of options for fine-tuning and customizing.

After considerable fussing in PhotoShop, the final result is this critically sharp image that can easily be printed up to three feet wide. Larger

My textbook covering multi-imaging and Virtual Reality applications is available from the UC San Diego Library here.

PTGui software

Next: Murals

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