Basics of fine-art photography/Creating works in panoramic photography

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Pailon Del diablo (2015)
Photo from book

Panoramic photography is a catch-all term that characterizes a set of methods that make it possible to obtain images with a viewing angle of up to 360º.

General information

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Panoramic (or wide-format) photography contributes to the display of objects that cannot be captured in the frame using regular and wide-angle lenses.

It can be horizontal (more often), or vertical; used for shooting natural and urban landscapes, interiors of buildings.

The advantage over a photograph taken with a wide-angle lens is the absence of distortion: if in landscape photography they are almost invisible, then in interior photography, alas.

Ways of implementation

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Many modern cameras (including the simplest) have a panorama photo function, the algorithm of which differs depending on the model used.

  1. By instantaneous automatic docking of several sequentially made frames, where an auxiliary horizontal line and a small fragment of the previous frame allows you to minimize errors. The variant, where docking is noticeable (in this case, three frames) can be seen here: example.
  2. Some models offer to move the lens smoothly (as when shooting a video), resulting in a panoramic photo.
  3. There is such a variation: when the “panorama” mode is set, the camera captures standard frames that should be joined on the computer. The disadvantage of this method is that if the number of frames on the flash drive is in the hundreds or even thousands (as happens with the author of this textbook in long expeditions involving visits to ten or more countries), it is easy to confuse the frames intended to be combined with the rest, and delete part of them by mistake.

In addition to the above methods, you can create a horizontal panoramic image using a camera that doesn't have such a function: will need a tripod with a rotating head.

For an in-depth study of the topic, see the "Panoramic cameras and methods section" of the Wikipedia article.

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The photos were taken during the author's 200-day solo expedition (2014 - 2015).