- Mastering Digital Panoramic Photography
- Photographic Multishot Techniques: High Dynamic Range, Super-Resolution, Extended Depth of Field, Stitching
Panoramas are great for a number of reasons. They help you get the feel of a location much better than a regular landscape created from a single frame does. Besides that, you can create huge files that can be printed in very large sizes and who doesn't love gigantic photographic prints?Now that software like Lightroom CC allows you to stitch panoramas a lot easier, it seems like most of the work is being done for you. Well that's not entirely true. Even with all the ease of stitching multiple photos together, the way you shoot the entire series plays a decisive role. In other words, getting the first phase of creating a panorama wrong will ruin everything, regardless of the application you use for stitching.
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With that said, there are a few ways to shoot the photos you need for a panorama, some better than others. Ideally you should be using something like a Ninja Nodal which is a tripod head specifically designed for panoramas. However most people don't use one, so let's concentrate on other methods. The next best thing is probably using a regular tripod with a ball head. It will help you take the photos from the same height and it will make the overall framing easier, especially if you use the camera's LCD.
But a lot of times you might not have a tripod available and this is where things get really familiar for photographers who are struggling to create a panorama by shooting hand held.
It's very difficult to shoot correctly with just one camera and two hands and it takes a bit of practice. A lot of beginners throw in the towel most of the times and that's a shame because they miss the opportunity of enriching their portfolio with some killer images.
There's one very simple trick that's going to make it a lot easier to shoot panoramas. All you have to do is raise your thumb and put the lens of the camera on it. It's a bit like having a floating miniature monopod. Keep the supporting hand as still as possible and gently rotate the camera that's resting on your thumb. With a bit of practice, the result will be a much smoother transition between the frames.
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Here's a video on how to do it in the field with photographer Serge Ramelli.