Have you ever wondered how to successfully create a panorama with your camera?
A Panorama is a big image that has a very wide field of view, a Panorama is created by merging a sequence of photos taken adjacent to each other from the same origin, simulating the field of vision of the human eye. it can be all the way to 180 degree angle, or even 360 degrees, creating a loopable image.
It's a very simple yet strict procedure, do it right, and merging them later in Photoshop will be almost automated, do it wrong, and you will be frustrated for a long time while Photoshop mocking you all the way!
Here is how:
You will need the following:
- A camera that enables you to go manual.
- A tripod
- Photoshop, or any other photo merging software
Step 1 Taking the Pictures
- Find a location that has a good vantage, or a wide field of vision.
- Put your camera on the tripod, facing the desired location to photograph.
- Determine where your image will start and where will it end.
Step 2 Camera Settings - DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex)
- Set your focal length for no less than 28mm, any more and there will be a great chance that your image will come out with great distortion that might give unexpected results when merging in Photoshop.
- With automatic or Aperture priority mode, take a picture and write down the values of Shutter Speed, Aperture (or the f.stop) and the ISO of that taken photograph.
- Switch to Manual mode, put in the values from the previous picture. Set your white balance to anything other than automatic, usually the best one is cloudy. now you are ready to take the photos.
- Look through the view finder and start taking photos from one side to the other. and try to the best of your ability to match the border of each frame with a little bit of an overlap. you can easily do this by using some land marks in the scenery as guides, a tree or a rock or even a building.
- Take the pictures quickly, because something might change in your scene (a cloud moving or a bird passing by etc.)
- Take the pictures in portrait (vertical) mode, to cover more ground if needed.
- The reason behind not using automatic mode is to avoid having your exposure changing in every picture. which will make it impossible to merge the photos together later
- It is recommended to retake the photos few times, just in case something went wrong.
Step 3 Camera Settings - Point and Shoot
- Set your focal length for no less than 28mm, or try to match the equivalent in zooming, or better is to zoom enough that the image is no longer in wide angle.
- With automatic mode, take a picture and write down the values of Shutter Speed, Aperture (or the f.stop) and the ISO of that taken photograph.
- Switch to Manual mode, put in the values from the previous picture. Set your white balance to anything other than automatic, usually the best one is cloudy. now you are ready to take the photos. If you have a build in panorama mode in your camera use it directly.
- Start taking photos from one side to the other. and try to the best of your ability to match the border of each frame with a little bit of an overlap. you can easily do this by using some land marks in the scenery as guides, a tree or a rock or even a building.
Step 4 Merging the photos
- Import the photos to your computer.
- Open Photoshop, go to File> Automate> Photomerge...
- Import the pictures in the new window, either by importing the photos in photoshop first, or by browsing them.
- Now, usually using photoshop automatic mode does it very good, assuming that you have done everything right. but in many cases you'll have to experiment with the other layouts like Cylindrical or Spherical.
- If you feel that your photos has some kind of Vignettes (fading black borders) then check the box "Vignette Removal".
- Don't get frustrated if your attempt came as a failure, if you have done everything correctly then you just might need to spend some time on Photoshop experimenting.
- Your computer might get a bit slow should you take hi resolution photos. if it started to slow down, try to compress the photos before merging them, or just lower their resolution.
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