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Tips for making a beter panoramic picture

May 22, 2011

Panorama picture out of 3 images shot with a 300mm.

When looking at a landscape or city scenery you often wonder : ” how do I get all this into one picture?” You can use a wide-angle lens , but this ha s the disadvantage that all is becoming very small  and the perspective changes. Often a better solution is to make a panoramic picture build out of several separate images. It is easy to make a panoramic picture, but to make a good one is not so easy. I will give you some tips how to get better results.:

  • First set your camera to Manual exposure or use exposure lock. This will make sure all images will blend nicely together with out ugly differences in brightness.
  • It often gives a more natural result if you use a non wide-angle lens or even telephoto to make your separate images.
  • When using a tele lens it is mostly better to take pictures in portrait position and not landscape. You have to take more pictures but the end result will give you more of the total view.
  • When you use a DLSR camera with live view or a compact camera with LCD turn on the composition guide lines. Make sure you keep the horizon at the same level and use the guide line to remember which part need overlapping parts.
  • It is better to take a few extra images for a better overlap of picture elements then only a few pictures with little or non overlap. So after composition move the camera a little bit back to get more of the previous picture in view.
  • Some point and shoot compact camera’s have a panoramic auto stitch mode build in. Please use it only if you need to make a shot fast. But do not use it for serious shots. The final results and image quality is not that great.
  • Use dedicated panoramic software to stitch your images together. A relatively new and professional program is called Auto panoGiga. The results are already very nice in auto mode, but you have numerous manual controls to make it perfect.
Feel free to use any of these tips to get better panoramic pictures.
6 Comments leave one →
  1. May 22, 2011 15:17

    Here some additional tips i got from from Alpha Dough:
    You should also set your white balance so it won’t change throughout.
    You should also set your focus so it won’t change.
    And, if possible, you should try to rotate your camera around the focal node of the lens. Without a dedicated Panorama head for your tripod (not just an L bracket) this is hard to do. I have found that when shooting handheld, if you pick a spot on the ground, and you sort of “step around” that spot while taking the images, works a lot better than just rotating your neck.

    There is a physical thing that happens if you don’t pivot the camera around the focal node of the lens called “paralax”. It is more important the close the focal point of the panorama is. It causes things that are lined up from near to far to “move” relative to each other. Causes difficulty in stitching at the interstices. If you revolve around your neck or hips, you might get away with it if the “viewpoint” is way in the distance. It’s just easier to step around in a small U shaped path, rather than revolve your body. Do a medium distance Pano and try both ways. Just think about revolving around about the mid-point of your lens, and then figure out how you would have to shuffle your feet to make this happen.

  2. May 24, 2011 18:11

    Exposure settings:
    I find it takes a little set-up time first. After focusing and disabling the auto focus of the lens, using aperture priority, scan the entire scene left to right observing the change in shutter speed throughout the scene. Then you can decide if you want to select the average shutter speed, or the one that provides the best exposure for the main part of the scene, then switch to manual and select that shutter speed along with the previously selected f-stop. That should provide a more successful overall exposure.

    post from Alastair

  3. May 27, 2011 05:47

    Before I start with the results of my past endeavors with digital/pano’s, may I suggest the following URL which after a read, puts some of the high tech language into terms that the average person understands. Please also read the URL “this awesome tutorial” which is a pick on the main URL. This sub URL shows what “Nodal Point” is all about and parallax etc.. Also how to measure this.

    Tip from Paul

  4. May 27, 2011 05:52

    A Nice tutorial with video About making panoramic pictures you can find on:
    Tip from Anthony

  5. May 29, 2011 08:40

    An other tip from one of my readers is that you should not forget that you can take vertical panorama’s as well! A tutorial on how to do this can be found on:

  6. June 19, 2011 03:07

    I like the valuable info you provide in your articles. I will bookmark your blog and check again here frequently. I am quite sure I¡¦ll learn many new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!

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