Wide Angles- How to create panoramas for your portfolio -update

© Amitai

This post was first published in 2009. During the 5 years since I posted it, I have come to important conclusions, I wish to share with you.

1) of all, there is a market to Panoramic stock images. It's not the mass sales of mine, but occasionally, a buyer finds my panoramas viable for purchase.

2)The progress in technology makes it easier to shoot and a lot simpler to compose. Software like Picasa or

Microsoft ICE are available for free and produce (especially ICE) professional grade results.

© Amitai

3) In camera Panoramas, are useful and in case of Fujifilm X series, produces beautiful results with easy to use technique.

4) Alternative to Wide Angle Lens - Yes, this point will probably raise hell, but if you can't afford that Fuji 14 or Canon 14 or whatever wider than 28 mm lens you're dreaming about (not to mention Leica glass), Panoramas, can give you the coverage you lack, though, obviously it's not as cool as wide angle effect

© Jf123

5) Above all, for me, these images are fun to produce and add something different than the hand shaking hand corporate images that everyone seems to produce and sell on the stock market (though it definitely doesn't sell like the corporate world images....)

I think that everyone should try to shoot panoramas, it will enrich DT and can add to your personal portfolio images that some buyers will find original and fun to buy.

Looking forward to your comments.

© Amitai

The original post

I don't know how popular or usable is a Panorama photo, but it's definitely a way to spice up your portfolio and allow prospect buyers to view new and different angles of popular sites.

The good news is, they are really easy to photograph and create.

When you want to shoot a Panorama, the most important thing to remember is the exposure values, i.e. if the lighting conditions varies from frame to frame, you will get an uneven exposure that will be marked by diagonal lines where the images are overlapping.

The best way (if you use an SLR or Advanced P&P) to deal with exposure fluctuation, is to use exposure lock. I usually measure the brightest point in the frame and lock the exposure. it may shadow darker places, but will give an even look for your photo.

Another option, is shooting in a overcast day, but these days are pretty rare in Israel, and if you read my previous posts, you know that I shot when I can, but for the pros among us, it's a good place to start.

© Amitai

Here is an example of evenly exposed photo with partly cloudy skies. the exposure made from the light areas, allowed for the dotting of the terrain in dark and light patches and created a nice contrast to the end of summer colors of the area.

© Amitai

The actual shooting of a panorama is quite simple too. After you figured out exposure, start shooting from one side to the other, allow for about 30-40% overlapping between each frame, and look for bold marks as a reference point to your movement.

© Amitai

To sum up, panoramas, once the possession of pro level photographers and extremely expensive cameras, is now an easy and exciting way of adding value to your portfolio, and giving prospect buyers another perspective on popular sites.

Amitai

© Tashka

Photo credits: , Amitai, Songquan Deng, Natalia Bratslavsky.

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Amitai

@adeliepenguin:
It takes a little practice to get the darn line to turn green, I work exclusively with the EVF and maybe it's better this way.
Never tried the XT1...
If it works for you with a tripod, then use it, I never liked it.
By the way, going thru your portfolio it looks like you're doing great without the green line... :-)

Adeliepenguin

Thanks!
I tried the x100's leveling line, without a tripod, and couldn't get it to work right. Same with the XT1. Even with a fast shutter. You must have very steady hands:)

Amitai

@adeliepenguin:
1. My fuji x100 has a leveling line that turns green. I also use Picasa to straighten images and panoramas. I don't use any tripod, just carefully exposing fast enough (with the x100 it means >1/35th on my shutter.
2. For stitching I use Microsoft ICE which is free and does a wonderful job.
Good luck and share your results here.

Adeliepenguin

Nice images! Thanks for sharing. I have a couple questions:) Do you use your camera panoramic setting, or do you just use software to stitch the images? Are you on a tripod using some sort of leveling device?

Upwardway38

Thanks for the exposure lock tip! Useful! Beautiful images, too.

Henrymm

This is a very useful article. Thanks for sharing. I should try.
Cheers..

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