5 Tips for Taking Panoramas

A panorama is a series of images stitched together to form a complete image. They can be a single row of images, or multiple rows (an array). Panoramas can be very interesting and look awesome. I’ve taken many of them, and now I will share some secrets with you.

To take a panorama, start from the left and take images while moving your camera slowly to the right.

  1. Shoot fast panoramas – If there are moving objects or people in the panorama, it’s a good idea to take each frame quickly then move on. When you stitch the panorama, you’ll have to find control points (two points in two consecutive images that are the same). If you have a lot of movement, control points will be difficult to locate.
  2. Use a tripod – A tripod improves the stability of your panorama so that some frames aren’t high, some frames aren’t low.
  3. Rotate about the lens – Most people keep the entire camera in approximately in the same place and rotate around the center of their camera. Rotating around the lens is better, because that’s where the pictures are coming in. You don’t want a moving lens; that will cause nodding and nutation.
  4. Use the same meter/exposure – Your camera probably has an exposure or meter mode. This can change depending on light conditions. Find a suitable exposure/meter, and keep it set to that for the duration of the panorama.
  5. Take lots of pictures – A Wikimedia Commons user said to me that each point in the panorama should be on at least two pictures. This is for easy stitching and accurate panoramas. Sweep your panorama slowly.

Up next: Tips for stitching and creating panoramas.