08 Shoot – and stitch – a panorama
Landscape photographer Alex Nail took several images, then merged them together to make up this impressive panoramic scene of Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol -– a popular spot for photography. Taken in mid October, the late sunlight enhanced the yellow in the early autumn foliage.
“If you’re shooting panoramas with multiple frames, it’s important to visualise your composition before you shoot. Forming a frame with your hands may make you look like an idiot, but it is a very effective compositional tool,” says Alex.
“It’s also really important to ensure that you leave sufficient overlaps for your stitching program to make a seamless transition between multiple images. You should try and aim for a 30-50% overlap.”
Alex actually captured the images for three separate panoramas – each at different exposures to capture the highlights, midtones and shadows of the scene.
He set his Canon DSLR to expose for the midtones (0EV), then over-exposed the scene by one-and-a-half stops (+1.5EV). Finally, he under-exposed a third image by one-and-a-half stops (-1.5EV).
At the editing stage, he blended the images together in Photoshop. “I used Layer Masks and the Curves tool to darken certain areas of the sky and lighten other parts to produce a consistent gradient,” he explains. “This is important if you want your finished panorama to appear flawless.”
Get started today…
* Pack a tripod to keep your panorama level and make the stitching process easier.
* Shoot in a portrait orientation so that you can include more of the scene in the top and bottom of the frame.
* Use a focal length of around 50mm. Make sure you’re not too far back, or the landmark in the scene will appear too small.
* A polarising filter will help to deepen the sky, improve the clarity of the scene and saturate the foliage.
PAGE 1: Shoot a bokeh effect
PAGE 2: Shoot the city drenched in rain
PAGE 3: Shoot a studio portrait
PAGE 4: Shoot an abstract image – then rotate it!
PAGE 5: Shoot liquid still life photography
PAGE 6: Shoot a surreal portrait
PAGE 7: Shoot woodland wildlife
PAGE 8: Shoot – and stitch – a panorama
PAGE 9: Shoot with the Rule of Thirds