As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, “there are times when you just can’t get everything in because your camera’s lens isn’t wide enough, or you just can’t get far enough away”. Under these circumstances you need to either; walk away and say, “It can’t be done”, or you can turn a problem into a solution by making a panoramic or a stitched image.
I call an image that is a long, thin, horizontal or vertical composition a “classic panorama”, and an image that has a squarer composition a “stitched image”.
Making this sort of image used to be hard, but now it’s much easier. There’s lots of programs available that do most of the hard work for you. I use Autostitch (the demo version is free), and the Photomerge facility in Photoshop.
What you do is take a series of images that cover the whole area you want in the final composite image, download them, run them through the software, and it’s done. Well, there’s a bit more to it than that of course, but you get the picture.
This stitched image of the keep at Dover Castle shows the sort of perspective distortion that you can get when you use a wide-angle lens. CS5 has tried to correct this during the merging of the images, but it’s still present. I like the effect, as it makes the building look even more imposing and powerful.
Finally, this classic panorama was made of 14 images taken from the Observatory at Greenwich, London. I used a Panasonic FZ-50 compact camera, and it’s extraordinary just how much detail can be seen in the image. It was perfect weather to take this type of image with a digital compact camera; clear and sunny. There’s no perspective distortion because I used a telephoto lens.
Here’s a detail from the centre of the image.
You can quite clearly see the banks’ signs on the skyscrapers. In other parts of the image you can see boats on the River Thames, and people getting a coffee!