As Far as the Eye Can See: Tips for Perfect Panorama

Submitted by Andrea Bruchwitz

Panorama view of Hamburg´s skyline - © Police Department Hamburg.

A photo is going viral around the world: Hamburg's Police Department made a picture of a golden sunset - out of a helicopter. The panorama picture shows the light-flooded city from its most beautiful side and has reached more than 3.7 million Facebook users. If you do not fly with a helicopter on a daily basis and still want to make a great panorama pictures, here are a few tips for creating your own jaw-dropping panoramic photos!

Tip 1: Use the Manual Settings

Use the manual camera settings for the individual shots. Otherwise there might be a visible difference in the white balance, exposure, and/or focus, which creates an uneven look throughout the picture.

Panorama view of a river.

Tip 2: Use a Tripod

A tripod enables you to rotate the camera precisely while keeping a level horizon. However, it is important to maintain a perpendicular vertical axis. Failure to do so can lead to a wavy horizon that you might not be able to correct in post.

Panorama view of a snowy mountain top.

Tip 3: Vertical Shots Provide More Flexibility

If you take the individual shots for your panorama in a vertical format, you can record more image data. This gives you more flexibility in several areas of post-processing such as cropping.

Tip 4: Leave Some Overlap in the Pictures

If you want to put the individual pictures together later using software like Autostitch, it is a good idea to allow 25-40 percent overlap in each shot. In panorama mode, most digital compact cameras will even display the previous picture semi-transparently, to make sure you can seamlessly put them together later.

Visualisation of overlaping pictures to form a panorama.

Tip 5: Look for Unusual Subjects

You can often find great panorama subjects in the places where you least expect. A spacious interior or an extraordinary arrangement of objects can lead to amazing fine art photographs.

Blurry view of glass bottle.

Tip 6: Don’t Underestimate the Smartphone

You don’t need high-tech expanders or nodal point adapters necessary to take great pictures. The panorama setting on smartphones (usually denoted with a mountain symbol), makes it possible to capture detailed scenic view with the help of a horizontal guideline. Skylines or vast landscapes can be really impressive in smartphone photography!

Tip 7: Make Sure the Presentation is Worthy of the Picture

Chose an acrylic photo or a photo print mounted on aluminum Dibond and display it in a long hallway or a particularly large room. At WhiteWall, you can order the image in the size and format of your choice – there are no limits to your creativity.

The word “panorama” is made up of Greek roots meaning “all” and “view” – it is a view of everything. Panoramic photos reveal new perspectives and can be an impressive way to capture the scenery. The horizontally stretched-out image offers an expanded range of view. In the past, creating panoramas required either special equipment or a tremendous amount of darkroom expertise. These days, modern technology has made it easier than ever to stitch together a series of individual shots – many cameras and smartphones can even do this automatically.

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