How to shoot your photos for making stitched panoramas in post

Tips & Techniques

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Are your lenses not quite wide enough to get that landscape shot you want? Or perhaps your camera’s resolution isn’t quite high enough to print it as big as you want to? Well, that’s where stitched panoramas come into play. The process is fairly straightforward and offers a lot of advantages over just using a wide lens, but there are a few gotchas.

In this video, landscape photographer Nigel Danson walks us through his process of making stitched panoramas covering everything from the different shooting techniques to how to actually stitch them together in the computer.

Nigel covers some of the potential headaches you may face when creating images for stitched panoramas, and how you can shoot them well to make your life easier when you’re on the computer. He covers the techniques that work well for him, as well as other options that might be available to you and worth checking out.

If you’ve never done one before, they’re worth experimenting with, although do be prepared to have your computer slowed down to a crawl if you’re stitching in Photoshop.

For me, stitched panoramas are one of my favourite types of images to create whenever I go away somewhere with an impressive landscape. Often I don’t have a lens with me that’s wide enough to really capture the full majesty of the scene before me, and stitching allows me to use what I have to create a wider shot, with a much higher level of detail than I would otherwise get.

The above image, for example, was a combination of 32 images shot with the Nikon D800 and the 50mm f/1.4D AF lens from 1,600ft up the top of Taipei 101 in Taiwan. All I had with me was my D800, my 50mm lens and my phone. So, what else could I really do? The final stitch ended up being around 400-megapixels, and it’s great looking through it on the computer and zooming into all the detail. One day I’ll get it printed big.

The above is also a stitched panoramic at Lost Dutchman State Park in Arizona using the Nikon D800 with the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 Sports lens. This was 28-images stitched together to create a 600-megapixel image.

I tend to process my images in Bridge and then stitch in either Photoshop or Hugin, a free and open-source stitching application, depending on my needs. Much of the time, Photoshop manages to handle it quite well, but there are times it gets a little confused and Hugin gives me more control.

Have you had a go at panoramic stitching yet?

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