Panorama Photography

Yes, some modern smart phones do auto-panoramas which often distort or mangle the images. I find the best way to create a high quality panorama image is to take a series of high-resolution photos and to stitch them together. Here's how you do that.

You start with the scene you want to take the panorama shot of. In this first example, it is the dock at the Ecotarium science center in Worcester, Massachusetts. You point your camera in a "starting" direction, whatever you choose. Set the exposure so that the whole piece maintains the same exposure all the way around. Then turn in place slowly, staying in the same spot, taking photos every "hour" or so on a clock face. I aim for 12 photos as I turn in the circle. So in this example here are the first three photos of my cycle. You can see how they overlap.

digital panorama photography

digital panorama photography

digital panorama photography

Now here are the images shown in a stack, to show how they are overlapping with each other. You can see in this one that I didn't "lock in" my exposure - so it changes through the photos. This is what you want to avoid doing :).

digital panorama photography

Once I have the full set of images, I open them up in Photoshop. Photoshop has a PhotoMerge Panorama option which auto layers them over each other to create a panorama. Or you can of course do the same things with layers. Put each image on a separate layer and slide them around until they all connect together.

Either way, here is the end result - all photos stitched together into one continuous image. Click on any panorama image to see it in a larger size.

digital panorama photography

Here is one I did in the swimming pool at Holiday Hill, in Mansfield, Connecticut, with my sister and her boyfriend -

digital panorama photography

This next one was done with a waterproof camera on a kayak in a lake -

digital panorama photography

In this next one, I do play with changing the exposure. This is because I needed a longer exposure to get the outside car images to show up properly. So by varying the exposure I was able to show both the inside and outside scenes. This was taken at Destare in Fitchburg, Massachusetts.

digital panorama photography

A panorama can also tell a story, by how you set it up. In this next one, the two beds in the motel are actually side by side. But by making them the center point, they seem to point away from each other, just as the woman on one of the beds is looking away. So a panorama image can become part of constructing the story of the photo.

digital panorama photography

Have fun playing with panorama photos!

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