…since I dabbled with panoramic style photographs, but a few weeks ago I saw this scene of Little Long Pond in Acadia National Park and decided to give it a try. These aren’t simple crops from one traditionally sized image, but rather a series of several frames compiled into one.
To make this type of image, I turned the camera dial to manual and determined what a good exposure for the scene would be – using “manual” helped make sure there was a consistency of exposure between the multiple shots ultimately merged to make the pano. I also made sure to choose a specific white balance setting other than auto, and I checked that the polarizer wasn’t dialed in – that way there wasn’t any vignetting in the corners of each frame, and there also weren’t any extra-deep blue blotches in the sky where the circular polarizer would normally do its thing.
Manually focused, I then literally wound my body up tight before uncoiling slowly as I panned across the scene making multiple photographs – all the while trying to rotate the camera as tightly as possible around itself. Rotating the camera around its nodal point – the actual sensor – reduced the potential for distortion from a wide angle lens, and with each frame overlapping the next by about 30-40%, the stitching software had a relatively easy job making everything jive when back at the computer. Above is a screenshot of how the nine individual frames that contributed to the final pano looked on the computer before I merged them together to form one panoramic photograph (below).
Like I said, it has been a while since I tried one of these, and I had forgotten how much I like the field of view one gets. The first pano in this post is only 50+MB, but the second is a decent sized 156 MB. In the first I held the camera in landscape orientation and only needed maybe 4-6 images to cover the scene, whereas in the second I turned the camera on its side to portrait orientation, and although I needed a few more frames (9) to make it work, I was able to capture considerably more pixels. I’ve seen other photographers create panoramic images much larger than these, therefore making it possible to print at incredibly large sizes… all you then need is the wall space 🙂