5 Tips for Better Panoramic Photos

There is something special about finding the right location for a panoramic photo. Whether is be a vast mountain range or a nighttime shot of a city skyline, panoramic photos are a great way to capture those scenes and more. Here are my 5 tips for better panoramic photos and hopefully these help you out the way they’ve made me a better panoramic photographer.

Pick the Right Scene for a Panoramic Photo

My first tip in my 5 tips for better panoramic photos is finding the best scene for a panoramic photo. Granted any location or scene could be made in a panoramic photo, but not every scene is really going to give you the full effect or the wow factor that a panoramic photo should give. Panoramic photos should show the viewer the vast hills and valleys of a mountain range or the sweeping skylines of a city like New York City.

Use a Tripod and Ballhead

I’m always going to preach the importance of using a good tripod and ball head when shooting everything especially panoramic photos. Not only do they provide stability they also ensure that your photos are misaligned. You would hate to go home and see that one building is taller than the next even though they both should be the same height. Using a tripod and ball heads ensure consistency and accuracy in your panoramic photos.

Any if where you’re shooting doesn’t allow tripods like a majority of places in New York City, may I suggest investing in a Platypod Mini Tripod. Though the name implies it has three legs like a tripod, the feet are removable so the Platypod can lay flat on the ground or you can attach it to a railing for a more creative panoramic image.

Shoot Vertical

The best way to shoot panoramic photos is to shoot vertically. That way when you merge them in Lightroom or Photoshop and you have to crop the photos shooting vertically allows you to have extra space either on the top or bottom depending on how tight you chose to frame the shot. Shooting horizontally isn’t as friendly that way and you also tend to get a bit more distortion shooting horizontally.

Use Manual Setting

When shooting panoramic photos it’s best to shoot in manual mode to ensure that all the photos are exposed the same. When you shoot in either aperture or shutter mode you run the risk of the camera evaluating each photo differently which would result in a headache come post processing time. The same building or landscape could have 5 different exposures and trying to blend each of those photos in either Lightroom or Photoshop to ensure that each photo looks the same is a pain in the ass and also time consuming.

Overlap 25%

I find that overlapping my photos from the previous frame at 25% helps to make sure that I don’t have any gaps or missing pieces in my photo. Overlapping also brings consistency to your final images and makes post processing work easier.

These are my 5 tips for better panoramic photos. Do you have some? Leave them in the comments section below.

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