This past weekend ended up being both busy, and satisfying.

Thursday I got out to a high school rivalry soccer match, just for a bit of practice with timing and shooting without burst.

Friday I shot my first FSU Men’s Basketball game this season—which you can see images from HERE—and I got a season pass/credential, so I don’t have to keep harassing the sports info director every time I want to go shoot.

Saturday, my wonderful girlfriend humored me with a short hike to a relatively unknown location in a local park so we could do some portraits…

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But these standard portrait images weren’t why I wanted to go back into the woods along the creek…I wanted to do a Brenizer-Method booked panorama.

This is basically a method of blurring the background out, but still getting a wide-isa angle of view. You can’t usually get a blurry background with a wide-angle lens, just because of physics, and with a telephoto lens, you get a blurry background but obviously a tight, telephoto angle of view that doesn’t give the viewer a sense of space.

So the technique requires a medium to long telephoto lens, where you focus on one spot, then pan around taking multiple photos and the stitch them all together on the computer.

The stitching together on the computer had me frustrated for a SOLID day and a half however.

I shot over 100 images to put into the panorama, and even with a brand-new-ish 2015 MacBook Pro, my computer struggled. I upgraded my primary image editing software (Adobe Lightroom) and it still refused to stitch. I downloaded a free, open-source piece of software called Hugin, but it failed to stitch numerous times, giving me a variety of error messages, that after doing a bit of research and experimentation, I was able to figure out how to negate.

And finally. Today. I was able to sift through this mess of code and a trashy-looking desktop, to get the final image.

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Boom.

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I was very pleased. There are some minor technical tweaks I might make in another edit, but overall this reflected the vision I wanted, with some reflection of my beautiful lady in the small stream, some mysterious shadows in the background, and the golden-hour setting sun beaming through the tips of the trees.

Very, very happy.

Then Sunday started out with me not so happy…I shot a Women’s Hoops game, and for some reason, I’ve just been struggling with the WBB these first two games. Maybe it’s because it’s more of a team sport, and there are less blatant charges, and displays of individual athleticism, or I’m not just tuned in or something, but my images just seemed MEH.

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Apparently #12 from JMU is a graduate of a local private school here in town

HOWEVER.

The Men’s game a few hours later, I had a good time at! I tried shooting at a couple different setting than what I normally shoot with, and I think the following selection of images from my evening in the arena is pretty representative of a set that I was quite pleased with.

Overall, and excellent weekend, with lots of time spent with people I like, doing things I enjoy, and producing what I think is some pretty cool art.

-Colin

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