50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Infinite

If you have ever been to a youth hockey game, or any other youth sport for that matter, you will already know that the possibilities for what might happen are pretty much infinite.  Infinite is the theme over at the photo challenge hosted by WordPress, so I thought I would use this image I have been working on to fit in with the theme:

Panorama of a hockey arena

Panorama of a hockey arena

This is a panorama that I created in Photoshop.  This is a very small version of it.  The full sized version is 42″ long and 9″ wide.  I’ll chat a bit about how I shot it and then how I created this final version.

First thing to know, I think, for any panorama, is that when you are shooting it, it is best to use a tripod or some flat surface.  The second thing is to remember that your software will need overlap in the photos in order to put them together.  The third thing is to take a lot of photos.  When I shot this, I shot it in three layers; the windows and benches, the ice, and then the ice and stands.  Even with all these photos, there were some gaps that I had to contend with later in the editing process.

To edit, I started with all my images in Photoshop’s Bridge program.  If you have Bridge, the workflow is this: Choose photos then Tools-Photoshop-Photomerge.  It will then give you a few options of what type of panorama you would like to create, in this case I am using the auto setting.

Then… well I’d like to tell you that a beautiful panorama appeared on my screen.  That would be a lie.  I had to reselect different photos, and try a couple different times before the photo that I had in mind appeared on my screen.  The different lines on the ice seemed to really confuse the program.  However, I did eventually get a good working copy.

It needed some work though.  In the original panorama, there were still some missing spaces.  Those turned up as just white.  Since I knew I was going to be creating another background, I selected all the white areas and made them orange.  In Photoshop I used the magic wand to select the white then did an edit-fill with the orange.  Why orange you might ask?  This arena that I shot is the home arena for a team whose colors are blue and orange.  When I tried blue in the white space, it made the image to dark, orange seemed to brighten it a bit.

Then I made a scan of a jersey of the home team.  That is the background that you see.  I edited and positioned the jersey, to make part of the logo appear to be on the ice.

Creating this image took quite a bit of time and experimenting.  I think though that simple panoramas of a scene can be easily put together.  There are many editing software programs that can help you with the actual editing, but the tips above on shooting the scene in the first place can apply to any scenario, regardless of your editing software.

So, what do you think of the panorama?  Do you shoot them yourself and have any tips? Do you have a blog post you would like to share of your own panorama work?  Feel free to leave your comments below.