Wednesday, September 16, 2009

How to take Great Panoramic Photos

Since I posted my Panoramic images on Monday I thought that I would give some tips and advice about shooting panoramic photos today to tie in. I will give you my two cents first and then I also linked to a couple of articles if you want to read about it in more depth.

I will admit that I was not super careful or technical in creating my panos for a couple of reasons.

1) There was absolutely no way that I was lugging a tripod around up and down mountains while backpacking. This trip made one thing pretty clear to me. Either take a vacation to hike or to take photos. You can not do both at 100% at the same time. For me, backpacking was the main event and looking back I probably could have taken just as good of pictures with the point and shoot without having to lug 15 pounds of gear around. It's all about priorities.

2) For at least one of those panos I was too tired when we got to the spot to remember to set my camera to manual (I am not telling which one it was). This did cause me a tiny bit more work in post but if you do forget it is not a huge disaster as you can see so don't freak out.

So, my technique was to find my start point, hopefully remember to set my focus to infinity and program my manual settings, take a snap of holding out 1 finger to mark the beginning of the pano, shoot the rest of the sequence hand held while trying to overlap about 30% of each frame, snap a photo of holding up to fingers to mark the end of the sequence. That's it. I didn't even take a consistent number of photos for each of the three. Then I had photoshop merge them together.

If I had been on a photo vacation rather than a backpacking vacation I would have used a tripod and done the series in HDR. Maybe next time. Anyway, here are your links and the last is a great place that will print large panos on canvas for a decent price. It is still expensive, but reasonable, especially for a gallery wrap. Be sure to check it out and have a great Wednesday!

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