Even though in this modern it’s easy to make a panorama, like with a phone app, the truth is it does not always end up as you wanted. And so if you want the best result, it better to do it manually. And by manually I mean take the photos one by one, and then stitch it in post-processing.
Before we begin, let me say that this tutorial does not include the post-processing step. It will be explained in a later post or you can check my photography: Jakarta National Monument.
3 Steps for Taking Proper Panorama Photography
1. Bring the important stuff
First of the 3 steps for taking proper panorama photography is to bring the right photography gears.
- Any kind of lens (Please avoid using about 50mm focal length fix/prime lens if possible)
- Tripod (sturdy one if possible)
- Shutter Remote (don’t have to, but better if you have it)
Even though in the end all you need is a camera and tripod. But this article purpose is to explain the best way to making a panorama photography. So if you want exactly that, you need all of the gear I just mentioned.
2. Prepare the Shot
Second of the 3 steps for taking proper panorama photography is the prep or pre-processing.
Now, this is important. Make mistake in this part, and it can ruin your entire shots. So follow it step by step.
1. Find the place you want to photograph.
2. Attach the camera to the tripod, and attach the shutter remote to the camera (if it wired).
3. Set your camera in portrait/vertical.
4. Make sure you can only move your camera (which already attaches to the tripod) horizontally (left-right).
5. Check the camera setting (shutter speed, aperture, ISO).
6. Put it in manual focus and make sure the camera is focus.
7. Make a plan for the size of your panorama photo. How far right and far left that you want to photograph.
8. And then move your camera horizontally to the far end (left or right) of the plan’s distance, without moving the tripod. Then move it a bit further.
3. Take the Shots
The third and final step of 3 steps for taking proper panorama photography is to take the photos itself or processing.
And now we have finished the preparation, let’s begin taking a shot. Like before, wrongdoing can ruin the entire panorama photo.
Let’s try to illustrate how to photograph panorama:
Let’s assume in this tutorial I take the panorama photo from left to right.
Begin to photograph the first shot. The first photo should start with a bit more further than the plan.
Check the photo and make sure you have the right setting and focus also right. If not, change the setting and take the photo again.
If you already take the first photo, then move the camera to the right to take the second shot. Here’s the twist. Instead of moving the camera to the part we haven’t shot, instead, we should overlap at 1/3 or 1/2 of the previous photo. This is to avoid to provide better information to the software in post-processing. And doing so can make 2 photo blend better. So it can look like this:
Repeat the overlap for next shot until the last shot.
The last shot should be a bit further than the plan distance.
Remember all the shot taken without changing any camera setting and focus.
Let’s try to see it in actual photo:
All of these photos are at least overlap 1/3 of the previous photo. And if we try to put all of them side by side, it gonna looks something like this:
Obvious it’s not right. Because this is not an end result.
Here’s a quick way to stitch panorama photo in Lightroom:
import the entire photos->select all of them->right click->photo merge->panorama
And here’s the panorama:
There you have it. This is 3 steps for taking proper panorama photography. Like I said before this tutorial doesn’t involve post-processing. Which I’ll write in the later post.
Check out some of my panorama photos