Awesome 360 Pano of Tavala Arches in Niue

I only took one 360 panorama in Niue. Thank goodness it turned out! We hiked about a mile to the beautiful Tavala arches on the northwest side of Niue. You have to walk through some caves to get to these natural bridge arches which are made from the same coral rock that makes up the entire island. The view from the arches is spectacular with ultra clear sea water carving its way to make chasms near the arches. We were in awe as we sat here in the shade beneath one of the arches looking at the sea and the other arch lit up in the sun. I had to stop and think about how to capture this challenging lighting before taking the picture. Read about that below. But, first enjoy the photo below and make SURE you look up as well so you see the second arch we are sitting below! Also, select “Full Screen” after you hit the play button below for the full effect.

Tavala Arches in Niue in Polynesia

This photo was really hard to get because of stark contrast of shade and sun. I used a technique called exposure bracketing taking 3 photos (underexpose, normal exposed, and over exposed) in order to get the darks and lights captured (aka as HDR). Then, I used software to fuse the exposures and do what is called a “tonal map” to naturally blend the properly exposed areas in the dark and light areas. I took photos in 8 different directions (six around, one up, and one down) in order to capture a full spherical panorama with my fisheye lens. So, there were 24 photos each. The result was several hundred megabytes of images before the final photo was completed! It took a few hours for me to process this photo and then upload it and make this post. I hope it was worth all the effort!

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5 Responses to Awesome 360 Pano of Tavala Arches in Niue

  1. Volker says:

    Impressive place, impressive image!
    Very well done, under these challenging circumstances. What an amazing technology.

  2. Gerardo Paz says:

    Without any doubt: the best Panorama you´ve made!!.. Amazing work…And beatiful place!

  3. Russ Irwin says:

    Did you use Photoshop for the HDR and then to create the panorama, or different pieces of s/w?

  4. Frank Taylor says:

    Hi @Gerardo and @Volker. Thanks for the words of encouragement! It’s great to hear the photos are being appreciated. I’ve actually made substantial improvements to this panorama in the last couple of days. PTGui Pro has a new beta that allows me to mask out unwanted anomalies in the photos (like my feet from the bottom shot). It’s great!

  5. Frank Taylor says:

    Hi @Russ, sorry for not replying sooner. I used different software. I used PhotoMatix Pro to process the photos for HDR “Tone Mapping”, then I used PTGui Pro to stitch the photos into a 360 panorama. The new beta version of PTGui Pro has a fantastic option for masking unwanted anomalies so you get more what you want from the results!

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