How to Shoot Panoramas

Why shoot panoramas? Why not? It increases file size and gives the viewer a much wider sense of the scene without the distortions of super-wide angle lenses. You can easily take a 5MP camera and shoot a stitch that yields twice that in resolution. They can be “hyper” real, extra tall or long and take on various ways of presentation. Just look up creative panoramas and see what snappers are up to. Get inspired!.

As seen below the capture is “key”. Insuring there it enough (but not too much) overlap and the exposures are right are the elements needed for successful panoramas.

1. The Exposure – take an average exposure reading of the scene, put your camera in “manual” mode, set the exposure and shoot. In some cases this will produced a few over exposed and a few under exposed frames, depending on the scene. Still keeping the exposure set across the board is the best policy to give the software the most accurate subtle tonality in blending these images. If you find there is too much tonal difference between two frames then small adjustments in post, bringing them closer together is the solution.

As you work more and more with your files you will develop a good feeling for the types of adjustments that can be made effectively. This awareness might then influence visual decisions in the field. You’re looking ahead (at your tools and workflow) at the same time that you’re considering exposure and composition.

2. Overlaps – 25%-50% overlap frame to frame will normally give whatever your program of choice happens to be, enough data to work out the stitch.

3. Shoot Vertical – this will prevent you from needing to buy a van to move around your new “wide” pano that may measure 8 feet wide by 12 inches tall.

4. Experiment – above all have some fun, try different things. Shoot in an array of patterned frames, as long as they overlap enough you will be amazed at what the software can do when stitching them together. Push it – there are no limits.

Join Chris and learn hands-on at our class, Panoramas -The Dynamics of Capture and Processing on May 5 in DC. There is a wide assortment of situations that call for panoramic techniques and Chris will address them and walk you through them. Chris will also cover the following;

  • What scenes lend themselves to panoramas
  • The most important aspect of shooting for panoramas; the capture
  • Camera set up
  • Tools and equipment that can assist with capture
  • How to ensure good files to work with
  • And more

We’ll shoot around DC and process the images back in the digital lab.  Although there are a number of third party stitching apps on the market, participants will learn the principals that apply universally, regardless of which software program you use.
For more information or to register, visit, Panorama Class Information

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