Panorama?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Donald Harvey, Jul 30, 2008.

  1. Donald Harvey

    Donald Harvey TPF Noob!

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    Can someone explain to me the correct way to shoot a panorama, I have an idea but I want an experienced photography to explain it to me, so if I have to explain it to another or if I am trying to do it myself I can get it correct the first time! Thank you!!!

    Harvey
     
  2. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    All I know is, shoot it with camera in vertical position (up and down)
     
  3. Bryant

    Bryant TPF Noob!

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    You need a tripod so the camera is in one place and all you do is rotate and click. You need some overlapping in each pic so post production can find something to match with. I normally do between 10-20 shots, otherwise it takes way to long to merge. Then in Photoshop click Photomerge and select your pictures. Give it about 10 minutes and voila.
     
  4. Bryant

    Bryant TPF Noob!

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    Or you can go purchase a panoramic lens, just depends.
     
  5. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    There's actually a little more to it than that, if you want really good results. I'll give you John's 'How-to' guide to Panoramas...

    1. In order to get a good pano, your camera has to be level, and has to rotate around the nodal point. This is a theoretical point which can be taken as the point where the centre of the lens axis intersects the centre of the film plane/sensor. What this means is that you have to shoot from a tripod for best results.

    Therefore, put your camera on your tripod and level it. Even though my tripod legs and head both have levels built-in, I carry a small dollar-store spirit level in my camera bag to make sure everything is as close to level as I can get it.

    2. Once I'm satisfied that everything is level and square and my tripod is locked (except for the rotating axis) where I want it, it's time to work on the exposure. Another important factor is to NEVER SHOOT PANOS IN AUTO! Set your camera to a manual or semi-manual mode (I use full manual, but either shutter or apeture priority will work as well).

    Determine the range of your pano (eg the left and right limits) and then go through and meter the different areas. Find out what the camera is recommending as maximum and minimum exposure, and when you've done this for the full range of the image, then average the settings. Don't change these settings; yes some will likely be slightly under exposed, and some slightly over, but deal with it in post.

    3. Now you're ready to start shooting. I always start at the left-hand end of the intended pano and work right, simply so that the images are in the correct order when they're on my computer, but that's up to you. Expose the first image, and choose a landmark about 2/3 of the way to the right-hand side of the frame. Now, being careful to ensure that you don't upset your level, move your camera so that the left-hand edge of the frame lines up on the land mark you just chose. Ideally you want about a 30-35% (or 1/3) overlap between each image. Continue shooting in this manner until you have the whole sequence captured.

    4. Download and stitch using your favorite software.

    A few tips: With respect to the issue of exposure: If there is an extreme dynamic range within the pano, (say bright sun to deep shade) I will often bracket each image 1/3 stop on each side, so that for every image used in the pano, you actually expose three. This gives you a bit of latitude in terms of trying to produce an image with a pleasing and realistic dynamic range, but be warned, it often looks hokey.

    One of the most important tools you can have for taking panos (aside from a good tripod) are filters. There are two types, one is the circular polarizer (CPOL)for enhancing colours and deepening the blue in sky and the other is graduated neutral density(G-ND); these help to prevent blown skies and preserve detail on the ground. When using a CPOL, it's important to remember not to change it's setting through the course of the pano either. Find the optimum setting and use it at that setting for the whole image. Likewise with your G-ND; don't change their position or intensity.

    Here are a couple of my panos (left as links due to their size) taken in Chennia, Crete earlier this year:

    This one Is an overview of the city, using six images:

    http://www.rthtg.net/john/crete/Pano_City%20(Large).jpg


    This one is a view of the harbour in the old part of town, which was stitched from approximately 14 images, and in hi-res, weighs in about around 40Mb as .jpg!

    http://www.rthtg.net/john/crete/Pano...%20(Large).jpg


    Hope that's helpful, and answers some of your questions.
    ~John
     
  6. Donald Harvey

    Donald Harvey TPF Noob!

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    Well Mr.TiredIron aka John, have you ever thought about a writing a book? If you have already where is it located in Borders? or Barnes & Noble?

    Anyway, thank you for your insight and I believe that what you said did help me, because now I truly know how to shoot a pano! THANKS A MILLION!
     
  7. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Nope, no book... :lol: Glad I could help. Just make sure you post the results!
     

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