When we travel to a place we don’t know, more than one of us enjoys taking pictures of the landscape.
Sometimes, a regular photo isn’t enough to capture all the beauty from a landscape, and in those cases we should take a panoramic photo.
Let’s start with the basics: A panoramic photo is comprised of several horizontal images, or even vertical ones.
When taking panoramic photos, you can either opt for using a tripod or simply hold the camera in your hands. And this is the last step, if we took the pictures with an intelligent mode of our camera, it’s not necessary to do anything but to copy them to the hard drive.
After putting the pictures together, we should have a single, very wide picture, with the height of a common photo. Popular Posts Best Monitor for Photo Editing and Photography (August 2016) (58) Canon EOS 70D vs 7D Comparison, What’s the difference between them? Panorama photos are those long (wide) narrow (small height) images, typically of city skylines or landscapes that you often see in galleries or other photography shops.
The basics of panorama photography is that the photographer stands in one place, aims to camera to the one end of the scene, say the right side, and takes one picture. I personally prefer using a combination of Lightroom and Photoshop to stick my panoramas together. Make sure your tri-pod is perfectly horizontal; otherwise the camera lens will tilt up or down when you move it from side to side. By using the full manual mode, you select your settings to get an even exposure on one of the pictures, and the shoot all the images with those settings. There isn’t a right or wrong way to take a panorama, but if you are not using a tri-pod, try to stand in one position, and only rotate your hips, shoulders and the camera when moving from right to left. Now, select all 5 images, and in Lightroom, right-click and select “merge to panorama in Photoshop”. Photoshop will now open up, and initially you will see an option screen with lots of selection sliders that you could choose from. Depending on the size of the images, and the speed of your computer, you might be in for a few minutes waiting time, but after a while Photoshop will open your panorama image, stitched together from the 5 different images you have taken. Don’t worry if these pictures are not perfectly aligned, especially in the top and bottom parts of the image. The immediate benefit of taking a multi-shot panorama is the FOV (Field Of View) and also size and ultimately image quality. By taking multiple images and blending them, you get a much larger image and thus better resolution (clarity and sharpness) when printed at say A0 size. When I first started taking these they would kind of work sometimes and other times I had quite a few problems that I would then spend hours in processing to fix. With regards to point 5) you can shoot a panorama with the camera on a tripod and also hand held. The result would be that each joined shot would have different colour casts to them which you would see across sections of the pano image. Therefore, if shooting in daylight (indoors or outdoors) then set the white balance to the type of day it is. What would happen if you use one of the auto modes is you take a shot (camera decides exposure – Aperture and Shutter Speed), move slightly and then the shutter speed or aperture changes because the in-camera meter is trying to maintain 18% gray. Here is an example of a panorama shot with the camera automatically exposing for the scene.
Set your lens to MF (manual focus) and dial in the hyperfocal distance on the focus ring then leave it.
Sorry I have not gone into detail on this but there are sites out there that can explain hyperfocal and give you calculators that will do a lot of the brainwork for you. If you are shooting at Golden Light or on a day where there are clouds in the sky then you need to be pretty quick when you take your shots. If shooting handheld, when you rotate around the scene, anything in the foreground will appear to shift because the angle at which the lens is viewing the scene and thus the foreground to background object is slightly different. You want the pivot point at the camera to be around a third of the way from where the lens connects to the camera to the end of the lens.
If you want to be precise then you need to find out the nodal point for your lens depending on the focal length and use a pano head for your tripod.


Overlap your images by about 30-50% Use an object as a reference point and line it up in your next scene. This is where you take multiple rows, as well as columns, resulting in a much higher resolution. You start from the top left of the scene work across, move down and back to the left and move across again. I find that a standard or longer focal length lens works well with multi-row as it reduces the wide angle distortion for each shot. Some places are beautiful, and there’s nothing better than save them in our camera to enjoy them later in our computer, our TV or, of course, print them. The combination of these gives us a wider vision in comparison with a normal photo, and it also mimics what we see when we turn our head.
It doesn’t have to be just from a viewpoint, the center of a city is also a good choice, for example, or wide monuments, like a palace.
The important thing is to be creative and look for places that allow us to take a great picture. The latter gives us more freedom, however, me must be careful not to move too much, otherwise we will most likely have to crop or edit our picture a little bit so it matches.
It’s easy to use, we will avoid moving unnecessarily, and mounting pictures is really easy since all of them should have been taken in the same axis, we only had to move the camera horizontally. So we have two choices: draw imaginary lines and take picture by picture indivually, or use an intelligent mode for this purpose, if our camera has a function for that. They give good results for a quick job if you’ll later post-process it, but the best results are achieved by taking each picture separately and then merge them into one in the PC. Later, as if it were a collage, we’ll need to set every picture on different layers like a puzzle. If we didn’t use a tripod, however, we may have to edit the images, like adjust them to respect the axis. Some of the most amazing panorama photos that I have ever seen show the skyline of Hong Kong, viewed from the Kowloon side of the Victoria Harbour. He then moves the camera to the left, until there is a one-third overlap with the previous image, and then takes another. The photographer now sit with (let’s say) 5 different images, which between them cover the whole scene. In the next section I will give a more detailed step by step guide on how to take panorama photos.
As a beginner photographer, this is not too important, and I will share a trick with you later on, that will help you with this.
You might end up with pictures that looks a bit lighter or darker than the next, but that can be corrected later on.
You might want to make a few practice turns, to see that you are steady, and that the camera does not dip or move up when you rotate.
You will surely be amazed by the amount of data available in the image, and also the extent to which you were able to capture a vast scene into one picture. Lets say for example you use a 6 megapickle camera, it’s one of those organic green ones.
Over time, experience (and frustration) taught me how to ensure a higher success rate at the time of capture. I now prefer hand held (if the shutter speed is fast enough) as I can control the rotation near enough to the lens nodal point.
Sunny, cloudy etc If shooting at night with street lights or indoors with lights on then set the white balance to the type of lighting in use. When you come to stitch the images together, you may have darker and lighter shots to merge together as the camera is trying its best to maintain the same exposure across the scene. Making some parts lighter (dark areas) and some parts darker (the light bits) by adjusting the shutter speed or aperture. Because this is how the brightness in the scene graduates and so you want to recreate it in the shot. To do this, set the lens to AF, choose the focal length you want to use and then focus on an object a third of the way into the scene. Check what is directly behind your index finger, lets say in this case it is a tree in line with the finger.


When you come to stitch your picture together a rock, for example, in one scene will have shifted slightly in the second scene and thus not on the same alignment. If you rotate, then you are spinning within the pivot point under your body and the camera is on the outside rotating around the pivot point. You will have some parallax errors but hopefully they will be slight and your stitching software can cope with it. Some stitching software can cope well with this format and so if you are thinking of printing a very large image then go for a multi-row format. Continue for as many rows as you like and ensure that you overlap by 30-50% across the horizontal as well as the vertical.
That’s why having on-screen rulers to guide us and correctly adjust the pictures in the correst position. If doesn’t matter if you did it manually or with an intelligent mode, we want to know about your creations and stories. This sight, as you can see here, is worth making the trip to Hong Kong, so if you ever get the chance to visit Hong Kong, take it! Now all you have to do is use your imaging software to stick them all together, and voila, you have a panorama. There is also some free software available on the internet that will give you the capability to do that. However, to get back to the question, it is good practice to use a sturdy tri-pod to mount your camera on for taking panorama photos.
If you are doing commercial work then it is a priority to get yourself a dedicated panorama head for your tripod.
If you are taking shots of any moving parts like water, people, cars, boats etc then you will get some ghosting or disjointed parts.
If you keep your camera steady and use the point directly under the camera, then the camera spins around the pivot point and you move around the outside.
I used a lens that had IS (image stabilisation) on it otherwise the shutter speed would have been too low to get a sharp image.
Some tri-pods have the ability to unlock certain planes of movement, allowing the camera to move from side to side, without moving up or down in the process.
This means that I have a narrower view, but I have a greater view from top to bottom, or from ground level to sky to work with. You would know that when you move your camera from right to left over scene, the exposure (amount of light) of the scene will change. For the next photos in the series, try to focus an equal distance into the scene, so you ensure that all the images are clearly in focus. Now scan the scene (looking through the viewfinder) from left to right and watch the light meter. You basically want the objects nearest in the scene and furthest away from you to be in focus and sharp. Even if I do not have a tri-pod, I can still take panorama photos, and where the sky or ground is not 100% aligned, I have some space to crop the uneven top or bottom of the image. If you use Av or Tv, your camera will make small (or not) changes to the settings, which means that your 5 images will not be exposed the same, or might have different depth-of-field results.
If the light meter moves an equal + and – amount across the whole scene then you are virtually spot on. There is a point where you cannot get objects really close to you in focus whilst getting a sharp background.
To tell you the truth, I take 90% of my panorama photos without a tri-pod, except where I need longer shutter speeds and cannot hold my camera in my hand when taking the photo. Because your eyes are slightly apart, hopefully not Uma Thurman distance (sorry Uma), then that slight shift in distance means you are looking at your finger and the scene behind it at a slightly different angle. If you are unable to manage it, sometimes you can’t, then set the shutter speed as close to mid exposure so you DO NOT clip the highlights on the brightest part.



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