Getting Long and Skinny

Despite my title, this post will actually be a photo how-to (sort of) rather than a post-Christmas dieting regime.  Expanding on a short piece I provided to The Camera Store‘s e-newsletter, here are a few tips for making vertical panoramic images.

To create vertical panos, you will need at least two images of your subject.  With your camera on a tripod (and leveled, if you want to make your task easier when blending back home) and in vertical format, snap an image of your subject that is predominantly of the foreground.  Without shifting to the side, tilt your camera up slightly to capture more of the sky above the object you are photographing.  Try and have about 30% or more overlap between the two images.

Back at home, you can use special software to blend the two images or you can do what I do: blend the two images manually using layers in Photoshop.  It is easier to blend the seam between the two images together in parts where there is not a lot of line or texture–where you merge the two depends on what you have photographed, and how good you are at cloning!  For example, blending in a little extra sky to the top of an image, where there is no mountain peak or tree line flush with the top edge of the foreground image, is probably the easiest blend to do.  For reflection shots, I will often blend the two images around the horizon line in the water below the horizon–this process is made a lot easier if you levelled your tripod first!

In terms of subjects, I like objects that have some length to their dimensions already, such as roads, train tracks or boats.  Another subject that works well with vertical panos are those with a contrast or compliment between the foreground and a background element–a stump in water and a looming mountain, for example.  The sky’s the limit!  With soaring heavans above, a vertical pano helps capture such amazing skies. 



~ by Samantha on December 18, 2009.

4 Responses to “Getting Long and Skinny”

  1. Sam, I’m really liking these vertical panoramas! It’s not something I think about when I’m out shooting but I think I should.
    I especially like your Forget-Me_not Pond and train tack photos.

  2. These are beautifully done. I’d buy them:)

  3. Great set of verticals, Sam! One of the fun things about digital is the freedom to see outside of the viewfinder, and realize that sight in the image with very little effort. The world is what it is, the scene is the thing. Plenty of compositions demand something other than 3:2, 4:3 or whatever. It’s always cool to find verticals that work, in particular, because they often go against the grain…

  4. My comment is a little behind the posting, but I wanted to say “bravo” on some fantastic images! Lately I’ve been very intrigued by vertical panos, and your shots are very inspiring.

    Greg Russell

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