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Tips for Shooting Panoramas, Part 1

There is something so fascinating about what happens when you stitch together five or six (or more) landscape photos into one long, single image. It’s as close as you can get (with a photograph anyway) to recreating the experience of being there. Now, although this will take more than one page to describe, shooting panos right is easy, so if you’re serious about panos, follow these rules. However, if you have Photoshop CS4 or higher (or Elements 6 or higher), Photomerge is so vastly improved, you can simply just overlap each shot by 20% when you shoot your pano.

  1. Shoot your pano on a tripod. (Note: Panos work best shot on a tripod, and if you’re shooting at sunrise or sunset, they’re a must. That being said, you can shoot hand-held if the light is bright enough, like if you’re shooting in daylight or really bright cloudy light.)
  2. Shoot vertically (in portrait orientation) rather than horizontally (in landscape orientation). It’ll take more shots to cover the same area, but you’ll have less edge distortion and a better looking pano for your extra effort.
  3. Switch your camera’s white balance to Cloudy. If you leave it set to Auto, your white balance may (will) change between segments, which is bad, bad, bad.
  4. There’s more—go to the next page...
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