Recently a friend and professional photographer sent me a link to look at some pretty amazing 360 degree panorama photographs. They were taken by photographer Martin van Hemert and I must say they were some of the most beautiful panoramas I have ever seen. So I wonder if there is a long term interest or if it is a passing trend, Martin van Hemert believes it is the next generation photography.
Martin van Hemert, Utah3D.Net photographer produces some pretty amazing and beautiful panoramas, what he also calls Spherical Panoramas or 360 Degree Panoramas. He shoots with a Nodal Ninja panorama head mounted with a Canon and fish eye lens for his panos. For stitching he uses PTGui. Also, Pano2VR has some useful functions. For HDR tonemapping he uses FDRTools, Photomatix, and Picturenaut.
To hear Martin talk about his Panoramas, see video below
I started taking panoramas awhile ago with my point & shoot Fuji F600EXR. I really love the panos it produces. Now, some newer cameras, including Fujifilm’s X-T3 have an automatic panorama setting built in where you can sweep the camera around and it all gets stitched together in the camera. Even tablets and smartphones have this capability.
Although taking panoramas with a phone or tablet does a good job, most serious photo enthusiasts and professionals agree better results can be achieved by using panorama photo stitching software such as PTGu or Adobe Photoshop. Here is where you take a series of individual, overlapping images that you then later stitch together using software.
When using a camera with automatic panorama capability, here are some suggestions:
1. Use a tripod when possible. One with a ball head so as you turn to make your exposure, it will be smooth in capturing the sections of your scene. If handholding, get a good grip and make a smooth steady sweep.
2. If your camera allows for settings to shoot in different directions, mount your camera vertically on the tripod, this way when you sweep, you’ll cover a larger area in the height of the panorama for better image quality.
3. Before starting to sweep, if you’re camera allows you to shoot manually, set your exposure for the brightest part in the scene. This will slightly underexpose the darker areas of the scene but avoid over exposed highlights. Some adjustments in brightness can be made later in your image editing software.
4. Use a lens with a wide angle or fish eye focal length.
Whether you use the simple in-camera panoramic mode or stitch several images together using software, Panoramas can be a very dramatic way of capturing a scene, adding impact to your final image.