Shooting Panoramas

Last month my wife and I traveled to Ireland. Ireland has many beautiful landscapes. However, the normal lens on my camera has a 28mm focal length which is not wide enough to do the landscapes justice.  The only way to capture the entire landscape is to shoot several consecutive overlapping photos to create a panorama.  I very much enjoy shooting panoramas as they allow me to capture a very wide field of view and produce a more dramatic photo.

To take a panorama, I positioned my body looking at the center of the photo I wished to capture. Then rotate my body to the left without moving my feet, twisting at my waist.  I then shoot the series of overlapping photos, with at least 30-40% overlap.

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Dingle Peninsula
Dingle Peninsula, Ireland

The second example is of The Burren, an area about 116 sq-miles created over 340 million years ago by the receding glaciers made of limestone.
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The Burren
The Burren, Ireland

In general, I shoot panoramas using aperture priority with my camera hand-held.  Many websites recommend you use manual mode, so the exposure is the same for all the photos taken for a given panorama.  In addition, they recommend the use of a tripod, so the horizontal plane of the photos are consistent.  These are both very good suggestions, but my own experience is a good panorama photo can be accomplished without using manual mode and a tripod.

Below is Adare Castle

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Adare Castle
Adare Castle, Adare, Ireland

When I returned home, I combined (stitched) the photos using the panorama feature in Lightroom and/or Photoshop.

If you don’t have Lightroom or Photoshop there are several other stand alone software programs that allow you to stitch together a series of photos.
See Have Camera will Travel Link, for a list of available software for both MAC or PC.  The list includes both free and for purchase software.  I’ve not used many of the software programs so I won’t comment as to their features or ease of use.

I hope you will experiment with taking panoramas.  They are fun to create.

Here are a few other panoramas I created in the past.

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Harbor at Barfleur, France
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Grand Caynon
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Painted Desert, Arizona
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Baltimore Inner Harbor

Here are several links providing additional information about shooting Panoramas.
How to Shoot Panoramic Photos
Shooting Panoramas
Panoramic Photography Tutorial

If you have any Questions please feel free to contact me

FOLLOW TOM WIGGINS PHOTOGRAPHY

 

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