I Love Panoramas

Panoramas are one of the photography techniques I enjoy the most. Take a series of images of a subject then stitch them together into a super-wide image.

Some cameras including my Nikon P6000 have a ‘panorama assist’ mode to help you keep the camera level and with a optimal 30% overlap between frames. I found the Nikon’s hard to use and very slow. With a bit of practice it is easy to estimate the camera positioning yourself.

I think the mode is one of those tick-list features (as we used to call them in the software business) that manufacturers add to compact cameras to add sizzle in the store and give the sales rep something to talk up. In reality they do not add much value. I bet few photographers use them.

Usually photographers stich their panoramas using a software app on their computer. I used to use an excellent app called Panorama Studio. It was a great example of solid German software engineering. It did one thing very, very well with no unnecessaey gadgets and gizmos.

Unfortunately I lost the application when my old PC’s hard drive crashed. I kept all my data because I had a good backup policy but I lost some applications that I’d had installed for a long time and didn’t have the CDs or a download any more. (More on backup and restore in another blog entry.)

Now I am using the stitch facility that is included with Adobe Photoshop. It integrates nicely with Lightroom but is not near as good as Panorama Studio. I just created a 50-image panorama of a great clear morning from the apartment shot using a 135mm lens so get close up shots of all the buildings. Photoshop made a very poor attempt to blend the tones – especially in the sky. Panorama Studio would have done a much better job.

Most panoramas are horizontal – I love photographing the Bangkok skyline from the apartment. This example is a vertical – Bangkok’s Victory Monument shot from the adjacent Skytrain Station.

Victory Monument Vertical Panorama

My version of Panorama Studio didn’t support vertical panoramas. (I bet they do now). I made this one using the stitcher than was bundled with my Canon camera. I think that is the only time I have used it.

If you ask a Bangkokian what victory their Victory Monument represents few of them know. You can read the story on Wikipedia here.


2 Responses to “I Love Panoramas”

  1. Toucanzoo Says:

    On your recomendation I went looking for this piece of software.

    I have found a verion on the net.

    I am going to give it a try and see how it goes.

    Thanks Ian

  2. bkkphotographer Says:

    If you have time please post a reply and let me (and all the other millions of readers of this blog) know what you think of Panorama Studio.

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