Why panorama photos? The unusual details and format create a different approach, bringing a landscape much closer to the viewer. Whether cities, untouched landscapes, water or open space. A panorama format lends size to the content. With digital photography there are now many new possibilities to create a panorama with simple means.
- Where previously only medium or large format cameras, super wide angle lenses and very high apertures made detailed pictures possible, today this is also possible with a modest digital camera in the medium price range.
- In order to get satisfactory results as a panorama photographer, one should however consider a little more than combining some photos on the PC with an image processing program to a panorama
- In any case, you need a tripod, a panorama head is very helpful but not absolutely necessary.
- In any case a spirit level is helpful to be able to set up the tripod really straight. Then mount the camera vertically (in portrait format).
Not only will you get a better viewing angle, but unwanted distortions, which mainly occur with wide-angle lenses, will not be visible in the decisive details in the center of the image. Since the camera photographs in portrait format, the less good representation is at the top and bottom of the image and not at the intersections of the respective shots. If you can, don’t shoot with a wide angle. If space and subject allow it, it is best to shoot with a focal length of 50mm. If you want to get inspiration, take a look at Panoramaposter.net.
Set the camera to Manual, this is a MUST
When making camera settings, be careful not to change the aperture or exposure during each shot. Therefore, it may be necessary to view the entire panorama and take a corresponding exposure measurement with the camera before setting these values. Check the brightest point with a test image for possible highlights, which you should avoid in any case. If the contrast is too high, you should work with a gradient filter to compress the dynamics of the image. More about the art of photography can be found here: https://www.fotomuseum.be/en.html
The aperture should be at least 8 for wide-angle lenses and 16 for normal lenses. This also makes as many details as possible visible. You can safely ignore the reduced sharpness with a panorama photo. The details are more important and the final result will give you stunning results even at f-stop 16. Furthermore, a polarization filter is a standard feature of this type of photography. It not only helps to reduce unwanted reflections, by rotating a polarizing filter you determine the direction of light and get stronger and more beautiful colors.
Ensure the correct exposure
Since you should photograph with ISO 100, you must ensure the correct exposure at the end with the appropriate manually selected shutter speed. If you create the panorama and move the camera during the individual shots, make sure that you have at least 25% coverage, 35-40% is better. This ensures that you have enough clues so that you can join the panorama together correctly during image processing. This is already possible today with almost all common photo programs, freeware is also offered on the net. Our recommendation for the free programs is the software Hughin. The program recognizes all points automatically and makes corresponding adjustments in case of extreme use of wide-angle lenses.
Nothing stands in the way of your first stunning panorama, only courage – it reads worse than it is!