Little Planet Wedding

21st March 2013
Over 12 months ago - February 2012 - I was asked by my friend Kim if it would be possible to create a Little Planet at one of her wedding shoots. I thought it was a great idea that she had come up with and then pondered about the logistics of creating an image. My normal Little Planet image is of usually something static like architecture or landscape, but trying this with people? at a wedding?? - crazy idea I thought! Anyway, the idea kept being mentioned and eventually I agreed that it would be a unique photo but also challenging to be able to create, so nothing ventured, nothing gained. Kim asked one of her couples if they would be Guinea Pigs and explained what was needed and also that it might also be a disaster.

The location was Llangollen Railway Station and it was a beautiful day in early October 2012. After the main bride and groom images had been taken it was now up to me to try a 360 sequence of images, so I tried to explain to the guests that I needed them in a horseshoe group arrangement around me so that I could go around in a circle for this one off picture. Although they did as I asked, it then became apparent that standing still (the adults mostly) was not possible because they were telling the kids to stand still (they were!). And this then made me think it wasn't going to work. But I carried on as the group were arranged and just hoped I might salvage a panoramic out of it.

I managed to get 11 shots taken and was just about to shoot the last shot when the tourist train arrived and 50 or more passengers got off and were then in the last frame. I frantically waved my arms to ask them to move away but nobody knowing what was going on just carried on walking through the frame. Luckily my group stayed in position until all passengers had left. They were amazing to do that! Well, 12th shot taken to give me a panoramic and then I was off home to see what I had captured. I thought I hadn't also got the 12 shots I needed because of the commotion but after downloading my card stopped panicking when I saw all the images.

Then I saw that nearly every person had moved their head in one shot and then looked at me for the second shot - they are overlapped by 30% - so just thought there was no way a Little Planet would be created now. Well, luckily I was using PT Gui software and this has an amazing brush tool that lets you erase or keep what part of an image you want, or not, to stay. I tried it with the 'two headed' guests and Voila - it worked!! This meant then that I had 12 images to remove movement but after everything was done and then stitched it all worked fantastically. I just couldn't believe that I had created quite possibly the very first wedding 360 Little Planet image! All thanks to Kim's idea and PT Gui software.

After more cloning for the corners to fill the gaps (it's created as a circle) I was just chuffed to bits at how it looked. I emailed the image to the Bride and Groom and they were just blown away at how it came out - a very happy couple with a unique image to treasure.

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