February 23, 2016 – Other than using the panoramic feature on my iPhone when Apple first introduced it, I’ve never done a true panoramic shot using my DSLR, a tripod, and photoshop stitching. This week’s challenge has been a fantastic learning experience.
Week 8: Landscape/Panorama
A great opportunity to explore panorama stitching and create a sweeping landscape.
It took several tries to figure out the right way to photograph each image for Photoshop stitching to work.
What I learned about shooting panoramas:
- Don’t use moving objects that overlap frame to frame
- Overlap more than you think you need (about 40%)
- Adjust exposure in one step increments per shot if, for instance, one end of your panorama is brighter than the other
- Make a wider arc than you think you need, otherwise the shot will simply look like a wide-angle shot
- Shoot between six to eight images. Four or five didn’t give a broad panorama
- Level, level, level, both the tripod and the camera
Some examples of my failures:
First, I tried laundry on the line, but soon figured out, the blowing quilt would not match up from photo to photo when stitching.
Next, en route to Winslow AZ, we stopped at Cadiz on Route 66. I got a partial pano, although the last two shots WOULD NOT STITCH. Later I learned I didn’t overlap enough for it to stitch. Argh. Without the most important shot, Brian and the key building seen below, the pano was bland.
We arrived in Winslow, and I tried again. This town shot is cool, but something about the whole image is wonky.
Inside our Motor Palace, yet another try, shooting the interior. This is the first time we’ve seen the walls without the drywall framing. So excited. Sadly, even though I finally got the pano to work, there’s so much construction junk, the shot looks cluttered. Moving on.
Later, we went on an exploratory drive and found this terrific bridge over Chevelon Canyon. This is four shots. Not quite enough for a full panoramic.
Wow. What a canyon. But seriously, it looks like I shot this with my wide angle lens, not stitch together five images.The road heading out there was pretty extraordinary too. This was my second favorite pano of the week, BUT… the horizon isn’t completely straight. It bugs me. Plus, I should have done a wider arc.
In the end, I chose the Motor Palace as my official subject. I first shot the photo below, but didn’t like the bowing power lines, so moved to the other side, and got my final image, the one in the header of this post.
Of all the challenges so far, I learned the most from this one and that’s pretty doggoned exciting. Pass along any tips you might have. I’ll happily take them.
Until next week’s ARTISTIC SHADOWS….