In this tutorial I will explain how to setup your shot and then go through the post processing stages!
Panoramas are a great way to give a viewer the whole idea and feeling of that place. It is a fantastic technique and always looks good at the end, no matter what view it is! In this tutorial I will explain how to setup your shot and then go through the post processing stages.
The best instrument to have with you when shooting panoramas apart form your camera, is a strong tripod (with spirit levels and pivots, if possible).
To start off with, choose your shooting location –> assemble your tripod and camera (make sure its level) –> if you have a Fish-Eye lens probably use it, otherwise use your widest angle lens (around 18mm). You can rotate your camera 90 degrees sidewards (portrait) to get more foreground and sky in your shot, however it might take alot longer than landscape.
The next step before shooting is to make sure you have composed your shot (recall the The Rule of Thrids) and the camera settings are to your likings. The camera settings must be balanced for all your shots, as to not have differently exposed shots when stitching later! To avoid this enable the Auto Exposure Lock on your camera (if you have a Sony-DSLR it is the AEL button).
You may now take your first shot, but stop there afterwards! To make sure you create a seamless panorama you need to overlap each shot by around ?35% on each side!
You need to decide what angle of viewer is your panorama going to be – 90/180/270/360 degrees?, however shoot several photos, because its better to have bigger overlaps in each image. I have had best results with 180degrees, because it is easier to correct when stitching and displays much larger on your computer screen!
Once you have downloaded your photos from your camera to your computer, you can begin the photostitching!
Open a photostitching program like Hugin or PTgui, but if you only have Photoshop use that. Then stitch the images together go –> Align images, if you’re using Photoshop go –> File –> Automate –> Photo Merge.
You should end up with something like this (below) or better!
The photos are roughly aligned, however to make the panorama look seamless we need to correct the exposure and crop out any extra bits due to lens distortion. The stiching programs like PTgui and Hugin should have an option optimise or exposure. These days the programs photoshop will easily correct the expsoure on your images, so your panorama should be ready for cropping.
Once you have cropped the panorama you are done!!!
Here is a 180 degree panorama!
A vertically stitched shot! Apply the same method to achieve one like this!
This a badly distorted panorama, but gives an interesting effect!
This a 360 degree panorama of the Victorian countryside!
Written by Mike
Michael Scott is the publisher and photographer behind Scott Photographics! He is very passionate about his photography and enjoys sharing the best of his experiences for others to enjoy too! Contact Mike via email!