vertical vs landcape orientation for panorama


TPF Noob!
Mar 14, 2009
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Toronto, Canada
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you know how people suggest shooting vertical for panoramas to increase the amount of vertical image as opposed to landscape orientation. And also if you have an L bracket it makes sense to do this, but if you don't have one, can't you just keep the camera in landscape orientation and pan vertically as you shoot to increase the coverage as you sweep left and right.

So say two shots up and down for each time you move left and right. And let the software take care or stitching or manually figure out how the images fit.

In the end its like two panoramas one above and one below that are combined together
Would this work?
If your software allows for multiple rows, then there's no reason to shoot portrait-orientation shots.
Modern panorama stitching software supports multiple rows. You can shoot by rows or by columns (as you suggest). For automatic stitchers you need an overlap between photos, the order is not that important.
You can shoot more than 2 shots up and down if you want...
You can still turn the camera vertical without an L-bracket. The L-bracket is the preferred method because it does keep the camera/lens axis much closer to the axis of rotation....but as long as you don't have something that is rather close to the camera, actually in the shot, then it shouldn't be too much of a problem.
The other benefit of the L-bracket is that it keeps the centre of gravity of the camera, in the centre of the tripod, thereby making for a steadier set up, and thus sharper photos. But provided you have a good solid tripod and especially a good solid tripod head, then you'll probably be OK.

Turning the camera vertical for panos, isn't just for increased vertical field of's because there is typically more distortion, the further away from the centre of the image you get. So the highest amount of distortion is likely across the short ends of the image (the sides in horizontal orientation). So by turning the camera vertical, you make the sides with less distortion, the sides where you will stitch the pano together....thereby making it easier/better for stitching.
There is certainly a benefit to shooting panos in portrait orientation as opposed to shooting two rows. You should always keep the lens as level as possible thus the sensor perpendicular to the horizon. Any tilting up or down will cause great distortion once the files are stitched together. This causes the need to crop a high percentage of stitched photo away or a lot of post work to fill in the gaps. However, if you shoot in portrait orientation with your camera as near to absolute level at all segments of the rotation, you get more vertical FoV and you will have to crop little of the image away.

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