surprise pano

Image and Post by Rick Sammon

Here’s the shortest tip that I have ever given: Shoot!

The more pictures you take, and the more you experiment in the digital darkroom, the more creative you become and the more creative surprises you’ll get. Here is one example.

I was experimenting shooting panos at the New Croton Dam (five minutes from my house in Croton-on-Hudson, NY) with my Canon G10. My plan was to process these snapshots in Photoshop CS4’s Photomerge (which is about a million times improved from earlier versions.)

Due to the perspective (tilting the camera slightly upward,) I had the feeling that I might get a very strange looking pano. Well, guess what? I did. Photomerge did indeed, produce a distorted image but it’s an image that I really like. Sure, the dam is not rounded, but for this image, I embraced the distortion.

So get out there and shoot. Experiment in camera and in the digital darkroom. You may be quite surprised with a newfound creative effect like I was with my dam pano.

And for all you keen-eye photographers, I did selectively dodge and burn my pano – just a bit.

P.S. If you have not tried Photomerge, give it a try. It’s truly amazing.