Photostitching is a great way to create beautiful panoramic photographs. Whether you’re photographing a cityscape at night or the beautiful view after a long hike, photostitching allows you to capture the entire scene, no longer limiting you to the confines of your camera lens’ width. We’ve got 5 tips to help you produce the most beautiful and seamless pictures.
Tip #1: Have a large overlap
Overlapping photos is the best way to ensure a seamless one. If you are using your camera’s stitch mode, make sure you are paying close attention to the live view, comparing the new photo to the previous photo that is being displayed. In addition to matching them up, make sure there is ample overlap to account for the curvature in your lens. This curve can cause some distortion on the edges of your photos. An adequate overlap will easily cover up those edges.
Tip #2: Keep your photos level
When moving from one photo to the next, you want to make sure each photo is on the same level. The best way to do this is by checking the horizon line. As long as the horizons match up, you’ll be able to stitch together a great photo. Taking your photos from different angles can cause different problems. Distortion may occur, causing a tree in the first photo to appear much closer in the next photo. This will make putting the photos together difficult. Angled photos will also prevent you from using the entire width of the photo. To ensure that each photo is taken at the same level and to make camera rotation much easier, use a tripod. Remember, if you don’t have one, any stable surface makes a great impromptu tripod! In the photo below, I pieced together a total of 6 photos to create the panoramic.
Tip #3: Shoot vertical (portrait) oriented photos for a horizontal landscape.
With your camera turned vertically, you will be able to capture more of the scene, as well as better depth. You also gain more freedom when editing, allowing you to choose just the right section from a longer photo.
Tip #4: Be careful of movement
If you aren’t purposely trying to capture movement, be sure to check the scene before snapping your photo. A bird zooming across the skyline in photo 1 may not be present in photo 2, disrupting your panorama’s continuity. Before you hit your shutter button, do a quick survey in your viewfinder to prevent having to retake the photo. The photo below was taken by our very own Customer Care Rep, Kyle!
For a fun alternative, have a friend pose in each new shot. When you go to stitch the photos together, you’ll have “clones” across the entire photo! Check out Jacqueline’s clone photo from her site Escape Normal.
Tip #5: Make sure your camera settings stay the same
If you have the feature, use the photostitching mode on your camera. If not, switch to your manual setting. Because we are stitching together multiple photos, you want to make sure the exposure and lighting are the same across the board. Your photostitch or manual setting will help ensure this.
Tip #6: Photo stitching isn’t limited to horizontal photos!
Photostitching is most commonly associated with horizontal photos, but that isn’t the only case. You can flip your camera and take a vertical panorama instead. This is perfect for capturing skyscrapers, bridges or waterfalls, to name a few. If a single line of photos isn’t enough to capture the full beauty of the landscape, do a second pass. Photostitching can be used to increase the height of a horizontal panorama or the width of a vertical one. Divide your landscape (or whatever you may be photographing) into two rows or columns. Capture all of row one, then move on to capture row two. Remember, you will still need ample overlap when you moving to the second row or column. The photo below is by wildlife photographer Michael Nichols, who stitched together 83 photos to photograph this 90-foot Redwood tree!
Now that you’ve got the tips, it’s time to take some pics! Just like we’ve said in our other photography posts, you’ll want to practice these tips to better your photography. If you’ve got a particular stitched photo you’re proud of, or some more tips we may not have mentioned, please share them in the comments below!
Check out our other photography entries here:
- Nighttime Photography
- Close-up Photography
- Outdoor Photography Tips
- Cell Phone Photography Tips
- Manipulating Your Light Source