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Panoramic images are so easy to create now that they hardly take any longer than a regular photograph. Of course, if you want to do them with the maximum possible technical accuracy you’ll use a panoramic tripod head, adjust your nodal point precisely, rotate the camera to a vertical position for maximum coverage and resolution and then overlap your shots at specific degree intervals.
Or you can create them the quick and dirty way by shooting handheld, visually estimating the overlap between frames and worrying about the stitching process later.
Some cameras will even stitch panoramas live, in-camera, though these will be JPEG images that don’t really give you any opportunity for fixing things up more carefully later.
Many programs will now stitch panoramas really well – Lightroom makes it easy and produces terrific results, so it’s my current favourite.
Just be wary of super-wide letterbox-style panoramas. Yes, you can capture a huge, sweeping vista, but they are hard to display and view effectively and it’s difficult to give them any compositional focus.
Instead, why not try two- or three-shot panoramas? You get a wide angle of view (it’s a simple way to get a wider view than the widest lens you brought with you) and a more manageable and attractive aspect ratio.
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Life after Photoshop is dedicated to the wider world of image-editing beyond Photoshop and its technical, image-by-image approach. Here you’ll find tips, tutorials, reviews and ideas for everything from mobile photography to asset management, from one-click effects to professional workflows. Rod Lawton