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Archive 2012 · Taking interior photos of small space for large wall...

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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Taking interior photos of small space for large wall...

I've been asked to take some photos of a long narrow room for a client. The room is about 18 ft long but only about 10 feet wide. What they want is a photo that they can use for a wall mural of one of the walls of that room. The final product will be on a 30 ft wall about 12 feet high. I do not currently have a lens that will take the shot with one image. What would be the best way to set up that shot? One location as close to the opposite wall as possible and then take multiple shots and stitch from there or move along the wall and take shots? Any ideas tips or assistance would be greatly appreciated!!

Oct 22, 2012 at 10:20 PM
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Taking interior photos of small space for large wall...

Moving along the wall will be best. This way you each shot is taken with the sensor plane parallel to the wall. The stitching will be simple and you won't have to deal with distortions.

Oct 22, 2012 at 11:14 PM

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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Taking interior photos of small space for large wall...

Thanks for the reply. Any hints for the 17-40L lens? I could use the 50 too if needed.

Oct 23, 2012 at 05:28 AM
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Taking interior photos of small space for large wall...

Level, square & plumb your camera on your tripod.

Set your tripod back two legs on the line parallel to the wall. Pull a construction string across the room parallel to wall if no true parallel reference is available, i.e. flooring tile, etc. When you move your tripod, keeping the back two legs on the line will retain you square to the wall (which means you're max working distance will be around 8.5' or so in a 10' room). I did a similar shot moving along a city block. As composition will allow, camera height closer to center of wall height.

I prefer to shoot portrait orientation with about 30% overlap. Takes more images that way, but (imo) it helps minimize distortion. That will also, allow you to use a longer FL to capture the height of the wall. Using the longer FL typicallly has the advantage of better corrections for distortion and better resolving capability than the wider FL's.

Personally, for a project that is going to be that big ... I'd rent a better prime lens. Use your 17-40L to take some rough draft composition to let you know what FL range you're most interested in, then get a great lens in that range from a rental house (or borrow from someone you know).

I personally prefer to use my 24L TS-E II for most such things as it is very well corrected and has great resolution (shift comes in handy @ times also), but there are other options. While the 17-40L is well regarded by many, it has its limitations @ edge/corners (which become a bit more important why you try to stitch) ... even a good zoom still makes optical compromises that will be magnified when you go to stitch and enlarge that much (12 feet high). It's a pretty good lens for general use, but I'd not put a 12 foot high image in the hands of the 17-40L if I've got a choice.

Here's a link that compares the 17-40L @ 24/f8 vs. the 24 TS-E II @ 24/f8
Take all such comparisons with a grain of salt, but there's no such thing as a free lunch and the zoom has to make certain optical compromises along the way. Many of which are fine for web size or wall hangers, but a 30'x12' wall is far different from a wall hanger, imo. It's your name that'll be on it. Do you really want to try to stitch and magnify the 17-40L that large?

I'd certainly shoot this high MP FF ... and I'd consider renting medium format given the degree of enlargement that you are striving for. Use your current gear to get your technique and approach down, then knock it out of the park on MF. With a budget to produce a 30' x 12' mural ... the gear rental is but a pittance of the cost of having wasted it on something not up to the task.

Also, what is your lighting approach going to be? What/where are the windows that will be allowing ambient cast (graduated falloff) influence @ uneven WB, as well as the falloff from your lighting.

BTW ... do you know if the final mural is intended to be a single or segmented image? If it is going to be segmented anyway, then that might give you some insight as to what FL might be appropriate and you could take individual images to be cropped and printed for each section, rather than stitching as a whole. You might want to talk with whoever is producing the mural to get their insight/input as to what they need from you in order to produce the project @ its best. Good labs & good rental houses can be your best friend.

HTH ... GL

BTW ... Welcome to FM !!!


Oct 23, 2012 at 01:20 PM

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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Taking interior photos of small space for large wall...


Thanks for the excellent information! This will be most useful. Do you have any recommendations for rental places for lens or MF equipment?

Thanks also for the kind welcome.


Oct 29, 2012 at 02:37 PM

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