Let’s start with why panoramas were “created”. Software businesses knew that the scene was larger than what our cameras could record. So they created a process called “stitching”. Stitching is a term used to describe taking a series of photos side by side and merging them together to create one single, long and wide photo.
For panorama photography you don’t need anything too costly when it comes to cameras. You just need a tripod, clear lighting and some software. My favourite software to use to stitch my panoramas is known as “Panorama Maker Pro”. it’s awesome stuff. I have version 5, but I believe that version 6 has just been released. You can even trial it for a short period of time to decide whether or not it is right for you.
I have made a lot of panoramas with the software. Once complete you can plainly see how it beautifully elongates a scene. This works splendidly for landscape photography. When you want to capture your scene and do not have a wide or ultra wide angle lens, making a panorama is great fun.
How To Shoot Panoramic Photos- Here is how you set up the digital camera
There’s one thing to make panoramas, and another thing to actually take them. There is a specific method to photograph panoramic pictures and it’s less difficult than you are probably thinking. Okay, so let’s start out.
Let’s start with taking a landscape image. Choose the scene you want to shoot. Make sure your scene has nice lighting and there are no harsh shadows across your scene, it will make it easier to stitch if you have a bright and open landscape.
Set your camera up on a tripod. Keep the digital camera firmly fastened and able to move from left to right or right to left only. It’s crucial that you let the tripod to move horizontally. If your tripod slips downwards as you are taking a photo you make risk having your photo out of focus and the software will be unable to stitch effectively.
Don’t shoot into the sun. Have the sun behind you. It is better to photograph at the end of the day, or the start of the day. The light is nicer, softer and gentler at the start and end of the day. The colours are deeper too.
Creating Panoramic Photos
Choose manual setting and position the camera towards the part of the view you want to expose properly. Now keep the digital camera on those settings the whole time. Let’s say you have the digital camera at 1/250th of a second and F20, 100 ISO. You’ve decided that you want a certain part of the scene to be well exposed and these settings will do it. That’s good, keep them that way and don’t change the settings at all. Once you have chosen your settings, now take a series of photos, one after the other. Turn the camera from left to right, for example. Make certain you leave a section of the scene as overlap. Your stitching software needs to overlap something.
What Sorts Of Things Can You Make a Panorama From? Fast moving subjects may not work- depending on the light.
Begin with unmoving subjects. Landscapes with a nothing but blue sky and a mountain range are good subjects to begin with. Nothing is fast moving so the software should not have any worry stitching your scene as one.Let me clarify.
If you are photographing with a shutter speed of /125th of a second and the subjects is fast moving, like water for example, then you may not have a quick enough shutter speed for the motion of the camera and the water. In one photo the water will be at the top of the rock and the next photo the water will be half way along the rock. When the software attempts to stitch two irregularities together it will not be able to form a complete picture. You must always keep the image without movement so the software can stitch the image in precisely the same spot. It will then make photo 1 the same as photo 2. There will be no difficulties and the two photos will come together nicely.
However, on saying that, if you have heaps of light and a fast shutter speed you need to move the camera faster than the water is moving. In other words, you need to move super fast to make sure you set up your digital camera in a way that the stitching will match up. If the water is moving at 1/250th of a second, then you need to move at 1/500th of a second. You need to move the camera from left to right, more rapidly than the water. However for now, begin with a single scene without motion of any kind. Keep your mind on a motionless subject. It’s easier in the beginning that way.
What Other Scenes Make Magnificent Panoramas- There are heaps of ways to create your photos broad and big.
Mountain ranges are not the only things that look good as panoramas. Once you have mastered the shutter speed and speed of motion for taking a series of images, why not try a waterfall. Once you have mastered this practice of panorama shooting, you can work to produce panoramas in any direction. Not only do horizontal panoramas work but so do squares (tiles- two at the upper section of the photo and two at the bottom of your photo, and so do vertical scenes.
I took a series of shots at Katoomba National Park in New South Wales, just a couple of hours drive out of Sydney, Australia. I did what was known as a “tile.” The photo comprised of 6 photos; 3 bottom ones and 3 top ones. I was vigilant not to overlap any areas of the water because I was unable to shift the camera quickly and have a fast shutter speed. This was due to the sunlight dipping behind the mountain. I used a very high ISO to compensate for the light decrease. I knew it would be ok to do this as my camera wouldn’t overexpose anything in dim light like this. I was lucky, the shot turned out well.
Creating Your Panorama as a Final Photo- Placing your panorama together in order
Once you have photographed a sequence of shots from left to right, say 5, simply upload the images to your laptop. Open up the Panorama software. Then, once you are in, decide on the images you want to work on. You will be able to follow the instructions pretty well as soon as you are in the program itself. If your panorama works well, you should see a huge scene. It is brilliant to look at, for the very first time, that your shots have now become one and you are looking at a big image- exactly the way you saw it with your own eyes. It’s a beautiful thing to experience.
Creating panoramas is a magnificent way to not only become skilled at the art of photography but helps you look at scenes differently. You will have a innovative appreciation and pleasure for landscapes particularly.Don’t just stick with landscapes. Once you grow more familiar with the course of action, try creating photos of trees, water, oceans (remember your light and shutter), highways, and even pathways. Everything I have mentioned seems like a landscape scene, but if you do more shooting you will find you can create a panorama out of just about anything. It’s so much fun to do!