Panoramas, the good and the bad….

by Christopher Foltz

If you have not noticed, I do take a lot of panoramic pics. I use Photoshop CS3 to stitch them together. I only have a Calumet ballhead with the panning option causing the great effect of Parallax. I generally rely on Photoshop to assist with the transformation to make the separate images appear correct but this is generally not the best practice. A better way to do this is to get a Nodal slide and panning clamp for your tripod. I have yet to invest in one but hopefully will shortly. This helps place the nodal point (optical center) of the lens directly over the the rotation axis of the ballhead.

Some other points to also keep in mind with Panoramic captures:

1.) Make sure the camera stays completely level through the process, best done with a ball head w/ panning ability or a panning clamp attached to allow the camera to move around one point of axis.
2.) Shoot in Manual, including White Balance. This helps insure the camera settings never change through each capture.
3.) Make sure to overlap each shot enough to allow some error. In my trial and errors I have messed up enough thinking just to get the edges overlapped, but realizing that once the separate images are placed with transformations, that a section is missing or does not match up.

I am not claiming to be a professional at these but just waned to share some tips. Here is a recent Panoramic I have taken of once again the Chicago skyline, with Diversey Harbor in the foreground. This is a four shot image.

A Winter Sunset

Enjoy and if you enjoy my images or have an comments please let me know.