Friday, February 19, 2010

Panramic Perfection !

Location: Panorama, British Columbia, Canada
: 2010
Camera: Canon 40D, 17-85mm L f/4-5.6 lens
Settings: ISO 100, f/8 (or around there), 1/100 second, 22 mm
Support: hand held
Other: photo merging in Photoshop

Details: whenever I go on vacation to the mountains, I always try to get a panoramic scene if the conditions will allow me. On this trip we had 4 days of clouds and fog, and only one day of sun. So naturally I brought the camera out with me on the skis to try to capture some magic.

This is a great case of location and timing. I brought my camera with me to the top of the summit at Panorama (a great ski resort in British Columbia). The scene there is breath taking, and by luck the lighting was great.

To get the panoramic effect, I need to take several shots in succession from left to right. When doing this, you will need to keep all your controls on a manual setting so the exposure is constant. You will also need to try to keep the scene "level" from one shot to the next to that the photo merge will be able to keep as must of the scene after the processing.

To take a photograph like this, here are the basic tips and equipment for you:
  • Support: in this case, the light was good enough for a hand held series of shots.
  • Panning: pan form either left to right or right to left. Keep the scene level from one shot to the next, and ensure there is some amount of overlap so that the program will have a frame of reference during processing.
  • Manual Settings: find the right settings for the light available, then set the camera to manual with that setting. That will ensure that the exposure does not change from one frame to another.
  • Merging Software: once you have the shots, you need to merge them. I use Photoshop CS3 for this (File, Automate, Photomerge) and select the automatic perspective detection. Once it processes, you will need to crop the image as the edges will be uneven.