How to Create Panoramas good enough for Dreamstime
It took me quite a while to get started with uploading panorama images to microstock. The problem wasn't that I didn't have suitable subject matter, but that I didn't know how, and assumed incorrectly that the software available wasn't good enough to produce seamless results.
As with anything, there's a variety of ways of doing this. This is a summary of how I do it:
1. Set the camera to shoot in "RAW" mode, not jpeg if you don't usually shoot raw.
2. Set the camera to Manual mode "M".
3. Set the ISO to a fixed value (I recommend ISO 100 on all Olympus DSLRs)
4. Set the exposure by adjusting the aperture and shutter speed. Generally for these types of shots I recommend an aperture of around 5.6-6.3 on an Olympus DSL-R - higher if you're using APS-C (eg. Nikon d90, Canon digital rebels) or Full frame DSLR (f8-f11).
5. Pan across the intended subject to check the exposure and adjust the shutter speed if necessary - you want a balance between the shadows and highlights. If there is a big range, I'd aim to preserve highlights and have other parts slightly underexposed instead.
6. Take a marker shot so that later you can easily recognise your panorama images amongst others - easiest is a photo of your hand
7. Take a series of images with an overlap of about 1/3 of the image
8. Take a second marker photo of your hand to identify the end
Stitching the Panorama
In order to stitch the panorama, I use Olympus Studio to process the raw file, then a free open source application called Hugin to stitch the panorama, and finish the whole thing off with Photoshop.
If you're interested in learning how to use Hugin I've also got a tutorial on it: Stitching panoramas using Hugin tutorial with screenshots
Hope you find it useful! :)
Photo credits: Holger Mette.