Panoramas - Are they "Hot" or "Not?"

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by astrostu, Apr 22, 2008.

  1. astrostu

    astrostu Guest

    I recently had this discussion with my dad. We went to the Garden of the Gods (in Colorado Springs) and I took a lot of photos, most of them going into panoramas (including two with 40+ photos). I was able to quickly process them all and showed them to him, and his reaction was "eh."

    He explained this by saying that it's very difficult to get a sense of the depth of the scene from a 2D photograph of a landscape, and because panoramas generally capture an even wider field, it becomes even more difficult to get a sense of what's going on, and to have it really impact you.

    I've decided that, in general, I agree. I think I'm a little easier than he is on panoramas that I like, but, after viewing practically every panorama thread on this site for the last year as well as my own panoramas from trips, I think I agree that the majority aren't nearly as interesting as I thought they would be. Lots of the ones posted by other people here, too, I think are few and far between that really "do it" for me.

    For example, from my own collection ... below are three panoramas that I think are good:

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    And below are three more panoramas that I think captures the scene, but artistically are just blah:

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    What are your opinions? Do you agree that it's hard to get a panorama to convey anything other than "snapshot?" Or do you think that most are pretty neat? Do you think that it's harder to get a panorama to be "good" than a regular photograph because of what it tries to capture? Etc.?


    P.S. For reference, the panoramas are, in order: Boulder Flatirons during second snow of 2007/8 winter, "Scenic Overlook" on the Big Island of Hawai'i, Sedona (Arizona), top of Mauna Kea (Hawai'i), Walnut Canyon Nat'l Monument, and Garden of the Gods.
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I think that many (or all) of the same things apply to panoramas as to regular photos...on whether they are good or not.

    Composition, lighting, subject, fore-mid and background etc. If those things are good, then it can be a good photo....panorama or not.

    So you can't take a bland subject with boring light and make it exciting with a panorama...but if it's a great scene that just can't be captured in one exposure...then stitch it up! :)
     
  3. Chris Stegner

    Chris Stegner TPF Noob!

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    I agree with your choices as to the good and the "so, so" photos, except I would swap 3 & 4.

    I hate to see anyone go negative on panoramic photos. I LOVE to shoot them. I must say you're right in the idea that they either work, or they don't. There's not much of a middle ground. I have "processed" many of images into panoramas and looked at them and thought "Oh well, I had a good time creating it, but it won't go any further than that".

    Here's one I shot while on vacation last year in Florida.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Stu panoramas can be good or bad just like any other. That's my belief anyway. The problem I have with a few of yours is the framing of the panorama leaves parts of the image to be desired. For instance with the first one I can't help but thinking it may look better using a wide angle lens and including more of the road. Same with the 3rd 4th and last one.

    Compare it to the Panorama Chris shot and talking about just that point of framing a panorama, the above shot includes everything that is needed. The top of the rainbow a bit of the bridge, and both banks.

    I find often when I make some of my own panoramas I end up tossing half of the images used to make them to focus the attention on the subject. In a panorama of Brisbane I dumped half of it because there was no point in the frame and a few people commented on how boring it was.

    Same thing in this one too:
    [​IMG]
    The original included much of the cliffs to the right of the bridge, and a lot of apartment blocks to the left. The final was cut from over 150mpx to just 80mpx to give something to focus on (bridge, river, city)
     
  5. patrickt

    patrickt TPF Noob!

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    I don't know but I recently started an exhibition of my photos in a restaurant/gallery and two of the first three to sell were panoramas of an archeological site.
     

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