Panorama Photography

Many times you find yourself unable to capture the full scene you want in a single image. Your camera has a wide angle lens setting but just not wide enough. And you physically cannot “move back” far enough to see the wide panorama of the amazing scene before you. In order to handle this, a process of taking multiple photos and merging them can be done in software.

There are 3 secrets to taking a proper set of photos for use to making a composite. First, the exposures should all be the same. To accomplish this, it is best (if not mandatory) to use a manual setting to lock in both f-stop and shutter speed to guarantee commonality among the photos. Secondly, the series of shots must be taken while rotating the camera about its focal plane axis. This is best done by using a tripod which will assure this is done. But if you do not have your tripod (I did not for these shots), simple rotate the camera keeping the back of the camera in one place, using your hands and NOT your full body to rotate around the scene. Finally, there should be at least 1/3 of the photo overlapping the previous shot. This allows the software to align all of the images correctly.

Here are a sequence of 7 photos taken of the Roman Forum, moving from left to right. Note the overlap in the sequence of photos! The more overlap the better.  

There are several good software packages for doing a panorama from multiple images. Again, I used Adobe Lightroom since this feature is now included in a recent release of the software. The program guides you to select the images and gives options on rendering for the most realistic effect. Once the images are merged, the standard post processing techniques are used to produce the result seen below.