A panorama, for those who are unfamiliar, is a method where one takes multiple images and then stitch them together to form a larger image. Please do not be discouraged by the generally very mis-aligned panoramas concocted by your phones or point-and-shoots. The purpose of this article is to discuss a technique allowing the photographer to create high quality panoramas, which you will be able to make large prints with and will be pleasing to the eye. The advantage of a panorama is that you can take it using a standard lens, providing a natural point of view, whilst covering a wider angle and create high resolution images.
What do I shoot?
Before you setup your gear or take shots for the panorama, first ask yourself what do you intend to achieve?
Allow me to explain, with a panorama, you can create any of the below:
1. Wide-angle shot, higher resolution – Anything that looks like a wide angle shot. It may be a scene which you could have very well captured in a single shot but composed to pack higher resolution for a large print.
2. Ultra-wide+ – An image that capture a very wide-angle, 150 degrees, 180 degrees, essentially very, very wide.
3. 360 panorama – As wide as you can get, covering the full 360 degrees, you can print these as well as make interesting interactive tours where the viewer can rotate and zoom as he pleases. A common format for these interactive panoramas is 360º x 180º. You can also make “small planets” with these.
4. Brenizer – A technique used to create portraits with a shallow DOF and wider angle of view, something not possible with a traditional wide-angle lens.
For all of these methods one can take a single-row panorama or even multiple rows. Multiple rows require special hardware to minimise stitching errors and can get a little more complicated.