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Thread: How to take panaroma pictures?

  1. #1

    Default How to take panaroma pictures?

    the problem comes with the different exposures of the various shots.

    this was one that I took last saturday at macritchie. obviously i had to move physically to a different spot at the extreme right of the image.

    btw; some mistakes in post processing (I did a flood fill/paint bucket on some of the jagged edges of the photos but it ended up filling up the clouds, so the clouds look weird.) too lazy to correct it so...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003


    My guess, shoot in manual mode? Should give you consistently the same exposure as what is available in ambient light throughout the frame, yes?

    Nice shot btw, apart from the dark bit on the right

  3. #3


    manual mode doesn't seem to help too much, because in this case, when I shift to the right hand side, the light is totally different. (this is like 200 metres - 300 metres away in position).

    on the other hand is there a technique to "match histogram" or something in photoshop, I believe if I can get the water to match up, it would work.

  4. #4


    Try for pano tips
    See my Photo Gallery at the Clubsnap

  5. #5
    Senior Member sammy888's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Singapore, Singapore, Singapor


    I have done some panorama years ago and there are some stuff you need to think about to produce a series of reasonably "standardised" frames that you will then use photshop to "stich" them together.

    You need a good tripod. Got to be pretty heavy with a strong weighty head to mount your camera ontop along with your lens. On the tripod head mount itself should have a liquid level indicator. YOu know that glass thingy that helps you to position your camera horizontally, visual-wise, by having that bubble stay in the middle of the glass tube. Can't recall the name right now. It would be good to rotate your camera around and watch this LEVELER to see if at all rotation angle, the camera will be on a horizonal level plain. That helps you make sure your panorama shot look level and not slanted like the one you showed here. I think a few of the frames was tilted to the right. You might need to adjust your tripod legs till you get the leveler to indicate that your camera is as level as possible all 360 degrees around. Not only is getting the camera level important to ensure a horizontal look but as you might know..especially with wide lens, when your lens is tilted at an angle upwards or downward, the picture is distored (eg...all the tall buildings are tilted together at the top or bottom) Keeping the camera/lens level will prevent this from being too big a problem. Another thing which is why till today I love my 3way tripod camera mount on my manfrotto tripod...I can pan while I have locked up my up/down and tilt level. And also the panning must be smooth and will not offer to much resistance for it might cause the legs to shift and this will cause alignment problem to what you have set up prior to shooting. My tripod head is heavy and has grease on the pivot so, it offer pretty smooth panning. Of course in this case smoot panning is not that important but it does mean you can move the camera around smoothly without causing the camera to move out of alignment like when you have a tripod head that offer too much resistance to you tryin to rotate the camera around it's pivot point.

    Choice of lens is also important. The last thing you want is a lens that has vignetting...slight darkening at all four corners. I did this with my SLR so I am nto sure with my D70 kit lens but if I have to say...I think something in the 24mm to 35mm would be fine. The 18mm kit lens might cause some darkening & pin cushion at the corners. Of course if you have a wide prime lens wich does help as they have better glass to limite the distortion found more with zoom lens. Sometime you might think the exposure in each frame is difference even when you are on manual exposure mode..well it could be that corner darkening might be in effect. You are not joining them edge to edge since you tend or should be shooting some "overlapping portion as well" might need to cut some parts of the ends off to "fit" the scene. Here's what I would do, I will alway crop off 10-20% from both sides of the each picture frame...which can also get abit of the distorted parts at the outer edges from making the joining a problem.

    And of course, you should shoot on manual exposure mode. Fixed speed and fixed apeture reading. And before you do this... take various readings by rotating the view around and then take it down to see how much of a difference it would be...take into consideration some scene which has more dark portions and others with too much over-burn higlights. Then average it out depending on the look you want. Sometime you just can't have it all the right or ideal way if the exposure range is too wide.

    If you are using a zoom. Make sure you don't touch the zoom once you have set the length you want. When you take a shot each time you rotate the camera around, make sure you do not touch the zoom. Changing the zoom range even abit will change the exposure more. This is a rarity but it is worth mentioned just in case.

    Turn off Auto Focus!!!....set up your focusing then then swithc it off!.

    Remote triggering. This will help to minimise alignment problem. When you rotate the camera, you should only hold the panning handle of your tripod head and not the camera body in any way.

    With most good tripod head, they have rotation degree indications on it. You can use that to get your bearing at each frame of your shot and then later as you do the shoot, without looking into your viewfinder again, you just rotate it to the appropriate degree angle horizontally and then fire a shot.

    After you have check the view and angle in the viewfinder, if your camera has a rear vewfinder curtain or a rear eye piece to cover and stop light from entering viewfinder from the rear and let in stray light...that would be good. Put that one will help quite a bit. IF this was not important...all the pro camera like the Nikon F series will not have a built in one! means alot of difference for crucial light exposure shots.

    Lastly...never take too long to do the entire series! That is why there is alot of pre-shoot things you might work out first and then once you get that all working. You go on to shoot the whole scene. Don't try to take a few frames of each portion and then move it to the next and shoot a few more shoots or make exposure changes or speed. Make all the changes and then do the whole set at one go. You want to make changes you have to think of it as a serie that is all in one. This will help make it more organised and consistance. Sometime your exposure might be fine but hard to say sometimes...the cloub cover the sun as the next frame as you are shooting..etc. So the faster you can do the entire series and then do it again for another series..the better. But allow for some small changes in some frames for being abit brighter then others. The fact is, te sun is shining at a certain angle on earth. So that means where it is shining it will be brighter and the other part which it is not shining in that direction, it tend to be difference. We might not see it as our eyes adjust to it very effciently but the camera will capture that subtle change. That is why I would rotate less and shoot more frames to stich them together with not a cut and paste but use subtle fade on each frame's left/right eges and try to merge them.

    Well that is my two cents lah.
    Last edited by sammy888; 29th November 2004 at 07:40 PM.

  6. #6


    thanks for the tips.

    incidentally, the above was taken with sigma 50-500 at 50mm (cos I lazy to change to 12-24.).


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