Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Ways of seeing with Autostitch

Ways of Seeing with Autostitch
Both of these pictures of Wingra Boats were shot and processed with the Autostitch app on an iPhone 4. Each is stitched together from the same 12 exposures. Autostitch saves a full resolution version of each picture and you can choose later how to process them. Unlike some other panorama apps, you don't have to shoot in one direction, or line the shots up in a line. However you compose your panorama or mosaic, as long as there is some overlap between the shots, the software will stitch them together. It's an amazing creative tool, especially for a humble cell phone.

The top image was rendered at the highest resolution setting and with blending set to "best." Among other things, it's a great way to get a really high-res photo on an iPhone. And even if you crop in to a square or rectangle (which you can do in the app), you can still get an image close to that of a super wide angle lens on a DSLR.

Ways of Seeing with AutostitchIn contrast, this image was rendered at a lower resolution, suitable for emailing or uploading over a cell phone connection (it's also much faster). It was also rendered with no blending (which can be done at any resolution), to give it more of the feeling of a collage.

 In short, Autostitch is a flexible tool that can be used in many different ways. Some people just use it to made very long, thin, wide panoramas. I'm not as fond of them, because it's hard to display them well in print form unless you go to very large prints, expensive to make and frame. For myself, I prefer to think of it as a cubist tool to fill a standard frame size in a more graphic and interesting way than the single point of view of what one lens sees in one exposure.

 At least until I get tired of it and a single frame starts to seem like a novelty again.

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