Panoramic images are very popular amongst photographers, and with good reasons. Panoramas offer great advantages to photographers, firstly it allows photographers to capture vast scenes not able to be captured in a single wide angle shot and secondly it allows photographers to create high resolution images. this is because a panoramic image lets the photographer capture the scene invitioned by him/her and show it to the world. Below are my 5 easy steps to create a perfect panoramic image with any camera.
Step by step for making a panorama
1. The first step at creating a panorama in my opinion should imagining the image in your mind, this is an important step because without this step you wouldn't know exactly what you are looking for to capture in the panorama. Once that shot is in your mind imagining where the image will start and where you want it to end and what will make the image stand out.
2. Once that is done, the tripod is placed in the desired spot and the camera securely placed on top of it. Once the camera is secured properly the camera needs to be adjusted to a level position, this can be achieved using various techniques and equipment. The most common technique does not require any additional equipment as it relies on adjusting the tripod legs until a level position is achieved, this can be checked from the small bubble thing on the tripod head. If your tripod doesn't have one you can always purchase one that fits on the hot shoe.
Unfortunately this is a tedious process that can leave you frustrated and thinking that you will not do it again and deal with the problems later in post production.
3. Setting up the settings will be next, this is no different from setting the settings for a normal picture but an additional step should be included once the settings are dialed in. This step should be rotating the camera on your tripod from the beginning to the end of the panorama making sure that the settings dialed in are suitable for the entire panorama without clipping the highlights or the shadows. This can be easily done by bringing up the histogram chart on the back monitor and making sure there are no high peaks on the far left and right of the chart. Check the video below to see it in action. The final step would be to put your camera on a timers of at least 2 seconds so that no unintentional camera movements will be introduced in the final image, this is more important if the ground you are taking the picture on is not stable like a forest floor.
4. Once that is done you can start taking your pictures making sure you overlap each picture with the previous one by at least a third, but i prefer to overlap the images by more than that to make sure later there will be no issues. This is important because the software used to create the final stitched panorama relies on this overlap to make the stitch. Check below to see how much I overlapped in my most recent panorama image.
5. Once the stitch is complete you are free to edit the panorama as you feel like. Below is a short video showing how I stitch a panorama in lightroom.
It is also a good idea to put your camera on a timers of at least 2 seconds so that no unintentional camera movements will be introduced in the final image, this is more important if the ground you are taking the picture on is not stable like a forest floor.
Shooting more than you think you will need on both sides of the panorama will make sure that you will have ample space to crop later in post production.
Creating panoramas have come a long way, today creating such images
The most important step and the first step to creating a panorama should be levelling your camera, this normally involves adjusting your tripod legs one buy one until the little levelling bubble meter is centered. Unfortunately this is a very tedious and frustrating procedure and usually results in not doing it at all or doing it wrong, which results in a shift in the angle of the camera when rotating it on the ball head to capture the panorama.
This is where the benro LBA2 comes very handy.
Additions to make panorama making easier -
Images and videos showing the process for panorama making -