Quick Shot: Super Resolution Cliffs of Dover

One of the challenges facing photographers is capturing a grand vista on a small sensor - even with a wide angle lens, you can never fully re-create what your eyes capture. To tackle that challenge, I sometimes create wide angle panorama composite photographs that capture a huge scene in great detail.

The White Cliffs of Dover presented a wonderful opportunity to make a wide angle composite image; the cliffs and surrounding area are a spectacular sight difficult to capture in a single image. Creating one of these composite photos requires a good deal of pre-planning. You have to know exactly what you want the final product to look like and do the calculations to determine the number of photographs required to stitch together in post-processing. It also helps to have some specialized equipment - I use a 50mm lens with a tripod, leveling base, and nodal point to create distortion free composites.

This particular image required 10 separate photos to create. There are two "rows" of five photos stitched together and then edited to create a final image that is over 94 megapixels. I actually stitch three times - once for each row (creating a file I call "Top.tiff" and "Bottom.tiff"). I then stitch the top and bottom files into the image you see here. It could also be made into a monster print without any loss in quality! Of course, the final image is also 300MB in size, so what you see here is a significantly compressed version of the photo - but click on it to see it full size!

Shot with the Nikon D800 + Nikon 50mm lens using a Gitzo carbon fiber tripod + leveling head + nodal point. Post processing and stitching performed in Adobe Photoshop CC.

This image is a composite of 10 photos stitched together into a final image that is almost 100 megapixels!