I love panoramic shooting. Getting giant images that really fill the viewer’s eye. Making these images has gotten much easier with improvements in camera sensors and stitching software. But still, a little help goes a long way. Here are three quick tips to getting better panoramic photos. After all, sometimes it’s the little things that make all the difference.
The Hand Knows
When shooting panoramic images, its pretty easy to get a ton of exposures (particularly if I’m shooting HDR). When you jump into post into post you can get a little overwhelmed. Where does one pano end and the next begin? Sure, you can look at metadata, but sometimes it’s still a guessing game.
Thats easy just hold up your hand in between shots to signify a scene break. When youre browsing in Bridge, Lightroom, or Aperture the scene break is easy to spot.
Weve all come a little too dependent on the computers inside our cameras. But when shooting panoramic photos its critical to switch back to manual mode. And by Manual… I mean 100%.
The last thing you want is for the aperture to change and your depth of field to vary as you pan, You’ll also want to avoid exposure variation as well. This manual override goes for both the camera and the lens go for full control. I recommend taking a few test shots from around the arc and adjust your settings then let it rip and shoot the whole pano.
Use a L-Bracket
Ideally, you want to shoot in portrait mode for a panoramic photo. This causes the least amount of distortion as you rotate the camera around. Essentially you are creating a circle out of several rectangles. A portrait orientation allows for more sides to the shape, hence a smoother curve. Unfortunately most cameras mount to their tripods in landscape mode.
Whats Your Secret?
Do you have any great tips for better panoramic photos? Please post them below.
Disclaimer: These are just a few ways to shoot panoramic photos. I hope these tips help.
Rich has published over 100 courses on Lynda.com. Rich has authored several books including From Still to Motion, Understanding Photoshop, Professional Web Video, and Creating DSLR Video.
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