|• HDRI & Panoramas •|
— Panoramas: Create —
How a panorama is made
A series of photographs are needed for a panorama. The camera stays at the same place and is rotated and/or tilted.
Generally, panoramas can be photographed with any camera, from the cheapest «Click-o-Matic» and smartphone to the Spheron SpheroCamHDR, depending on the budget. Cylindrical panoramas can be shot with the handheld camera, the result may be such that there is something left to be desired — but it is do-able. A digital camera is an advantage but not mandatory.
A cylindrical panorama made from six photographs glued together, the seventh photograph is a copy of the first one. Another example made from 11 photographs, the 12th again a copy of the first (both panoamas from the early seventies: Dartmoor, England and Font Romeau, Pyrenees, France).
There is a difficulty to correct photographic prints and the lower example shows what happens if the camera was not correctly aligned horizontally. To align the camera horizontal, a bubble level is almost mandatory. There are some very handy ones that can be put on the holder for the flashlight.
When purchasing a level, check that it can be fixed also turned by 90° to assure the levels also work if the camera is set for a portrait shot. Even though panoramas can be made with the handheld camera, the use of a stable tripot is highly recommended.
In order to get more height from the scenery , move the camera in portrait position. More pictures will be needed to get a full circle, of course.
When the camera is rotated or tilted for the next exposure, keep in mind that at least 10% of the scenery from the previous picture is shown in the new one. If a wide angle lens is used, more overlap is necessary because such a lens distorts considerably towards the edges. These distortions must be calculated and compensated for by the «Stitcher» in order to assemble the pictures seamless to a panorama. For a cylindrical 360° panorama, you soon end up with a dozen or more photographs.
DSLR FX and DX Formats
The fullframe fisheye covers 180° on the diagonal of the frame. The usual aspect ratio of a 35 mm camera is 3:2 and the longer side covers 144° and the shorter 86°. If a panorama is photographed with the camera held in the portrait format, 6 shots at horizontal steps of 60° are necessary; and one zenith shot, better two 90° apart.
Of course, you could always use a mirrror ball, as shown under the HDRI topic. But the quality is very much lower. The maximal size will be the shorter side of the film or chip exactly as it is when using a circular fisheye.
© 2004 - 2017 by Horo Wernli.