Panorama Workshop, October 14-21, 2018 - Aaron Priest Photography
Panorama Workshop

Fall Color Panoramas, 4 Day Workshop

1 week of accommodation included at a private townhouse overlooking Northeast Harbor
5 participants max, spouses welcome--only 2 spots remaining!
Instructors: Aaron Priest & Vincent Lawrence
Accommodation: October 14-21, 2018
Workshop: October 16-20, 2018

Aaron Priest Photography and Acadia Images are excited to offer a 4-day panorama-focused workshop with a week's worth of accommodation at a private house located in the photographic hub of Acadia, overlooking Northeast Harbor. There will be two instructors: Vincent Lawrence, owner of Acadia Images and year-round resident of the area, and Aaron Priest, a world-renowned panoramic and high-resolution photographer from Maine. Aaron has been collaborating with Acadia Images for several years on Night Sky, Milky Way Panoramas, Night Sky Timelapse, and Fall Panorama workshops.

By including a full week of accommodation you are able to arrive early and stay an extra day, making the most of the fall foliage season in Acadia National Park. Take some time to explore on your own.

NOTE: If you are registered and unable to attend, the accommodation portion of tuition ($800) is non-refundable. The remaining tuition can be used towards a future workshop.

Workshop Topics:

Learn everything from the basics to the complex of panorama photography in this post-processing intense 4-day workshop. If you have never tried a pano, have tried but had problematic results, or want to learn how to perfect this technique this is the workshop for you. Please bring whatever pano gear you have and if you want to try out panos for the first time there are a Nodal Ninja 6 and two Really Right Stuff multi-row panning heads to experiment with (we recommend an ArcaSwiss style lens foot or L bracket for your specific lens/camera as generic/universal plates aren't as sturdy). Post-processing will be a major focus of this workshop and you will need to bring a laptop with Photoshop (CS6 or newer) or Lightroom (version 6.0 or newer--now labeled Lightroom CC Classic). We recommend Creative Cloud to have the latest versions of Photoshop and Lightroom for improved panorama features. If you want to get into multi-row panoramas you’ll want to have either PTGui (recommended), AutoPano, or Hugin (free).

This workshop with start at 1pm on October 16th with an overview of panoramic technique and pitfalls. We’ll then delve into the issue of parallax and diagnosing the no-parallax-point of your lens. We’ll head out into beautiful Acadia National Park in the late afternoon to start shooting panorama material.

This workshop covers:

• Camera settings for panoramas
• No-parallax-point identification
• Use of panning heads
• Single-row panos
• Multi-row panos
• Spherical panos
• Little planets
• Bokehramas
• Dynamic range issues and HDR
• Image post-processing for panoramas
• Stitching and blending
• Projections and distortion
• File formats and size limitations
• Resources for sharing/exploring gigapixel and spherical panoramas

Cadillac Mountain at Sunset, click to zoom in and pan around

At a minimum you will need a camera, lens, tripod, tripod head with an independent panning lock (preferably above your ball head or leveling base), and a laptop with the above recommended software. A nodal slide rail is also recommended to eliminate parallax and make stitching easier. If multi-row or spherical panos are your endgame then you’ll want to have a multi-row panning head such as the ones from Really Right Stuff or Nodal Ninja.

Panoramas get big fast, especially with 24 to 50 megapixel cameras. Batch editing the RAW files can be very CPU intensive and take a while to render. An SSD dramatically speeds this up if you have a large enough one in your laptop, and big panoramas in Photoshop require a lot of RAM. You’ll need plenty of available storage, both in camera and on your computer. Bring an external drive to backup your images on.

While out in the field it’s best to take notes about the sequence you shoot, either on paper or on your phone, to refresh your memory when stitching later. Smartphones (Android or iOS) have a number of apps that are useful for planning in the field (tides, moonrise/set, sunrise/set, weather, panorama calculations, etc.), and we will cover some of this as well.

Seal Harbor at Sunset, click to zoom in and pan around

The Accommodations:

We are including a full week of accommodations by hosting this workshop at a private townhouse overlooking Northeast Harbor. Check in as early as 3:00 PM on October 14th and checkout is 10:00 AM on the 21st.

What’s not included:

Meals and transportation are participants’ responsibility. There is a kitchen available for use at the estate. Usually breakfast and dinner are taken as a group in town. We carpool as much as possible to reduce traffic into the park. Vehicles entering the Park are required to have a entrance pass, available to purchase at numerous locations around the park.

Payment to Acadia Images, LLC

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Lobster Traps & Buoys

This is the wharf at Thurston’s Lobster Pound in Bernard, Maine on September 12, 2016, 17:56. I took it during a panorama workshop that I was co-instructing with Acadia Images Photography Workshops. The wharf was in shade while the sun was hitting the boats in Bass Harbor in the background. I wanted a selective focus on the buoys and ropes with the lobster traps and harbor providing a blurry backdrop and plenty of negative space on the wharf in front of the pile of buoys to blur as well, like a tilt/shift lens effect. It’s about a 48mm field of view, so I could have shot it with a 45mm f/2.8 tilt/shift lens, but I don’t own one. ;-) Instead, I used my 70-200mm f/2.8 at 200mm, f/2.8, ISO 64, 1/160, focused on the buoy I wanted to be the sharpest, chose the corners of my scene, and shot a bokehrama of 7 columns and 6 rows. I rotated every 5° and tilted every 5° for plenty of overlap, because the focus distance was only 29 feet away and the blurred out foreground was even closer. I aligned it with PTGui Pro and blended it with Photoshop. I cropped it to a 5 x 7 ratio for easy printing because that’s nearly what it was already after stitching. The finished panorama is a little over 630 megapixels (29735 x 21239) and can easily be printed 10 x 7 feet without enlarging.

The full panorama can be explored here. Zoom in to see how much detail there is:

Camera settings: 200mm, f/2.8, ISO 64, 1/160.

Stitching data: 6 rows of 7 images for a total of 42 images.

Equipment used: Nikon D810, Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II, Really Right Stuff TVC-34L tripod & pano/gimbal head. RAW conversion to 16-bit TIFF via Lightroom, aligned via PTGui Pro, and blended in Photoshop.

From Acadia National Park