Making panoramic photo
A panorama (formed from Greek πᾶν “all” + ὅραμα “sight”) is any wide-angle view or representation of a physical space, whether in painting, drawing, photography, film, seismic images or a three-dimensional model.
Panoramic images are much more real and alive. They are used mainly in picturing cities, architecture and nature. The main advantage of panoramic images is that they are able to capture a much larger review than can reach our vision.
Basically, panorama consists of several frames “stitched” together. And the simplest way everybody could do is software. There are lots of solutions, like Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop or PTGui, where you can create your panoramic picture in two clicks.
The hardest part of the process of creating panoramic photos – how to take individual pictures and this will be discussed further.
If you would like a quick result, the panorama can be done on the fly without any special preparations. But there are significant limitations in quality. To achieve optimal results, take some vertical pictures with a good intersection, at least 50%. Vertical pictures are more convenient, because you will lose resolution when stitching due to the fact that when photographing manually, it’s impossible to turn smoothly. Then in the editing software you will need to adjust the brightness of the frame, because it’s slightly different in each frame due to the automatic exposure. To simplify your task and so the panorama would not get “spotty”, I advise you to lock the exposure with AE-L / AF-L button. This method works when you make a panorama from 5 or fewer frames. This panorama can be done even with telephone, and, some smartphones have programs that make panoramas.
If you want to make a panorama from a large number of frames, for example, stitching frames not only horizontally, but also vertically, then you gonna see some problems. The greater is viewing angle, the greater are problems. The first thing you need – a tripod. A tripod should be fixed so that it does not wobble. The camera should be positioned horizontally. Therefore, you need a level, or an expensive camera with a built-in gyroscope, as the Nikon D750, for example.
- Turn off the auto ISO, go to M. Mode
- Pick the right fit values of shutter speed / aperture for acceptable exposure for the entire length of the panorama. I recommend f / 8 aperture so depth of field (DOF) is big enough, but it doesn’t start to manifest diffraction.
- Turn off the auto focus, get the camera in focus. The easiest way is to point the camera at the hyperfocal distance. This is the distance, where everything is sharp, from the middle of this distance to infinity. But in order to know where your hyperfocal distance is, it is necessary to be familiar with your equipment capabilities. To calculate the hyperfocal distance you can use DOF calculators found on the web.
- Take a few shots to see what is the optimal setting.
- Once everything is set and ready, start the series. First photograph all horizontal frames, and then turn the camera up or down, and add horizontal lines to increase the vertical resolution of your panorama. A good frame is considered to be the intersection of 30% -50%.
- Throw all the photos in the program, wait until the end of the processing and you should get something like that:
The result will be even better, if you rotate the camera not randomly, but around the nodal point. When turning the camera around it, you can get rid of the parallax effect. If you are not afraid of physics, then this can be found in Wikipedia. Nodal point is unique for each lens and is found experimentally. To rotate the camera around this point you will need a special device, which is mounted on a tripod:
Hence, correct panoramic images are quite expensive to do, and it’s not worth it unless you are photo-geek or professional. In fact, simple panoramas can be made with an iPhone and it looks good.