I was going through an archive of photos recently, looking for old images to submit for my son’s Senior Yearbook. I stumbled across this panorama of the Huntington Beach Pier. The metadata shows it was taken at sunrise on New Year’s Eve 2000. My guess is that the camera’s time setting was wrong since it also places its location somewhere over central Africa. Whatever the date, if you look closely at the image below, you’ll notice that the stitching on a couple of parts of the panorama are off.
I suppose, depending on the size of your screen, the stitching error might be very hard to see. But I noticed it right away and immediately wanted to “salvage” this photo in some way. I love the composition and the color, so I turned to Topaz Impression 2. I do this most often when an image is not quite as sharp as I might like, or when the stitching in a panorama is off.
The various styles each use different levels of detail to render. The featured image at the top uses the “Chalk Smudge” formula style. The image above uses the “Pastel Chalk” style. Each one of the painting effects cover up the mistakes in the stitching quite well. And some of the artistic formulas, like the style exhibited below, patterned after the artist J.M.W. Turner, completely obscure the detail.
Of course, all of this is subjective. For this image, I prefer the one I chose for the featured image at the top of this post. Others may like the “watercolor” effect below.
Still, others may think I should have left the original photo alone. Which do you prefer?