Sunday, January 27, 2013

Spinning the Washington Monument

Spinning the Washington Monument from Craig Corl on Vimeo.

Here is the link to the full screen HD version:

With a bit of free time on my hands this morning before the full onslaught of classes, I took the opportunity to make this little project.  The process is pretty simple.  Start by picking your subject then locate it on Google maps.  Take a screen shot, then draw a circle around your subject adjusting the size of your circle so you have clear views as much as possible.  Draw lines through the center point of the circle with intersections on the perimeter of the circle.  Your goal should be between 10 and fifteen degrees between intersection.

With your shots mapped out, start shooting.  Try to line up one of the focus markers on your camera to keep your subject in the same position for each shot.  Your distance from the subject should remain constant if you are able to stay accurately on your route.  This, coupled with maintaining a constant focal length will keep your subject at a constant size.  After each shot marked on your map, continue 7 paces around your circle and take another shot.  In my case, I ended up with 66 photos.

After your shooting is complete, import your photos into your photo processing software (Lightroom 4 in my case).  My first task was straighten each photograph.  Next I selected the photo with the tip of the monument closest to the top of the screen.  I put a sticky note on my computer screen with a small arrow and aligned the peak of the monument.  I then adjusted all the other photos so the peak of the monument was aligned with my sticky note.  Finally, I adjusted the exposure and toning on each photograph to smooth the transition between photos.

I next imported all the photographs into Final Cut Pro X and set the duration of each photograph to 3 frames.  And there you have it.


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