How to create panoramas
Panoramas are, generally, many pictures combined to create a large rendering of a scene. They are mostly used in landscapes or architecture shoots where the scene is just too large to capture in one frame. I say “generally” because there are also some special purpose cameras available that are designed for panoramas, i do not have one of those.
I do, however, have a camera and some patience. So what do you need to do to create some cool looking panoramas? Well you have to take a series of photos of course! Important here is that they are all the same with regards to exposure, aperture and focal point. If you vary these settings across the board then you will get, ummm, interesting results.
When shooting a series of photos you need to make sure there is enough overlap between the photos, this is to make sure that the software will be able to ‘see’ where it needs to stitch each photo together. It seems wise to have at least 1/3rd of an overlap between the photos.
Once you are home you upload the pictures to your computer and then? Then you open up a program called Hugin. Hugin is an open source tool that is specifically designed to create panoramas. You then load all your images and let Hugin do the initial analysis. If you did it right there is little need to do further tweaking, however generally you need to add more control points (points that hugin uses to determine which picture stitches to what other picture).
Once done you can generate the resulting panorama. Generally you need to post-process it still in your normal photo software, but all the really hard work is done for you
On a vacation to Barcelona, Spain, there is lots to see. Along the waterfront is a very nice park with interesting spikes. The below picture is composed out of 3 individual shots.
[lightbox link="http://wiersma.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/wpid-barca-pano.jpg" title="Barcelona Park"]
My hometown of Almere is relatively new. It was built in the last 35 years and is a city in which lots of architects went wild with new ideas. The skyline of the city center consists out of apartment buildings, the art center, shopping center and the hospital with next to it a large park. In the park I took 20 pictures that I then stitched together. It is best viewed very large (click on it and then click in the right hand top for the full view).
[lightbox link="http://wiersma.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/wpid-Almere.jpg" title="Almere skyline"]