How to shoot Panoramas.

Shooting panoramas, whether horizontally or vertically, is a great way to show the immense beauty of the world around us or at least to give an overview of a scene.

While I lately prefer to shoot more intricate details of landscapes, panoramic shot are not to be underestimated. The easiest way to shoot a panorama would be to take out your phone and do a sweeping panorama. Most modern phones can do that right in their pre-installed camera app. There are even some cameras that can do that, like my old Sony HX20v.

(Panorama of Gatineau, Canada shot with my old Sony HX20v camera.)

I personally prefer to shoot individual images with my camera and later stitching them in Lightroom. That way, I can always just use the individual images if I decide that I don’t really like the panorama down the road.

(A panorama taken in Sweden. Shot with my old Canon 100D>)

To shoot panoramas with individual images, you have to expose all your shots as evenly as possible. To achieve that, I usually expose for the mid-tones in the brightest image of the seen and then lock down my settings in manual. I also use manual focus so that the images taken all have the same parameters.

(A slightly messed up panorama.)

Some scenes just need a panorama to be experienced. Off course, it is possible to shoot panoramas handheld, but it is easier to place your camera on a tripod, preferably with a dedicated pan lock. Doing so will also enhance your panoramas quality. That’s because Lightroom cuts of all the parts of the images that don’t fit within the confines of the created panorama, and it cuts off less if the images match more.

(Handheld panorama. Shot in the Harz.)

So far though, I have shot most of my panoramas hand-held. I don’t usually use my tripod because it takes time to set up that I don’t want to spend. But that’s why the image above was cropped to 27MP from the 43MP file that resulted from stitching 2 24MP images together.

(The stitched panorama. Uncropped.)

As you can see, the two images don’t really line up perfectly. And while a stitched panorama will always have less resolution than the individual images it is composed off, locking of the tilt and jaw off your camera can certainly help in maximizing the output values of your creation.

(A landscape shot split up for Instagram.)

To learn how I then post those panoramas on Instagram, see my story on how to share landscape oriented pictures on the platform here.

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