A panoramic photo can create more impact than a standard picture, but what is it and how can you make one yourself? Panoramic photography, sometimes referred to a wide format photography, is when multiple photographs are stitched together to create a wide shot. The name itself is derived from Greek meaning “all sight” and began being used by painters capturing a wider perspective of landscapes.
Photographers have been playing around with panoramic photography since the camera was invented. At the beginning, the process was long and required special film and equipment in addition to hours in the darkroom aligning and stitching together the different shots. Today, the stitching process can be done simply with a software. While the program can help piece the final image together, you will be responsible for the images to input.
Here we will explore some things to consider when creating your panoramic photograph:
Depending on the weather conditions, it may be necessary to shoot a panoramic manually for rapidness, however it is recommended to use a tripod. A tripod will guarantee the shots are taken on a level plane – whether horizontal or vertical. When setting up your tripod be sure that it is level and that there is a smooth rotation left to right.
Since you will be building a single image from various, it is important that the camera is set to manual. If the “AUTO” setting is chosen, it is more likely that each shot will have different focus points and exposures. By switching to manual, you are able to maintain more control over the final images shot.
*If there is some variation between shots, the software can usually smooth it when creating the final image.
This is a key part of creating the final image. Overlap is exactly what it sounds like- it is the overlap in the scene from one shot to the next. Experts recommend that each shot should have a 30%-50% overlap. The duplicate parts of the scene will allow the software to stitch the final image together more seamlessly.
Whether the camera is horizontal or vertical has an influence on the final image that is rendered. If you keep you camera horizontal while shooting, the number of shots needed to create the panoramic are less. However, it is also a shorter field of view. Some photographers argue that horizontal shots limit the quality of the image, since they use half the number of shots than shooting vertically. Keeping the camera vertical for shots opens the horizon of the shot and, as mentioned above, can have a higher image quality.
One thing to keep in mind for both is not to go too wide. If you shoot too wide, the final image may distort with too much foreground or gaps in the background.