I like to carry a simple point-and-shoot Canon S900 pocket camera. It is convenient for capturing of-the-moment photos, but it produces a frustrating lack of detail when I am faced with large panoramic nature scenes.
Adobe Photoshop CC and other programs now have very advanced image stitching and photo merging capabilities. Here I will show you how to frame up your shots for the best possible stitched results. Of course, you can make much better quality images with good camera and a tripod, but this method is to make the most of hand-held pocket cameras.
While this is very nice looking, I would like to create an image of much greater detail, that shows the grand, looming presence of the mountains that I experienced with my naked eye.
All four examples are taken from one spot on the side of the road.
Zoomed-in landscape pan
PROS: My favorite. High resolution and low distortion. CONS: May need to zoom out for better composition and context.
1D. Here are the actual photos. It took ten images to pan across the mountain range. Note the natural, in-lens vignetting. This should be removed in the stitching process. You are now ready to stitch photos in your graphics program.
Download the ZIP of ten images below to stitch your own panorama together.
Zoomed-in portrait pan
PROS: Highest resolution, least distortion. CONS: Difficult to line up shots. Can be time consuming when stitching.
2D. Here are the actual photos. It took fifteen images to pan across the mountain range. Note the natural, in-lens vignetting. This should be removed in the stitching process. You are now ready to stitch photos in your graphics program.
Download the ZIP of fifteen images below to stitch your own panorama together.
02-Nelsdrums-Zoomed-In-Portrait-15.zip (55 mb)
PROS: Uses the least shots, very fast to shoot, shows more context. CONS: Most radically distorted pixels, hardest to stitch together in proper perspective, lowest resolution.
Download the ZIP of three images below to stitch your own panorama together.
Multi-row zoomed-in pan
PROS: Possibility of making massive, detailed images. CONS: Most difficult to shoot properly, more chances for stitching errors.
If your graphics program supports it, you can actually stitch a whole grid of images together. To do this, you will need a good eye and points of reference in the viewfinder to line up the shots properly.
4D. Create a second row from your previous reference point. Continue until you have an equal amount of second row images. Add additional rows as needed. You are now ready to stitch photos in your graphics program.
Using the methods described here, I was able to make all of the panoramic images on this site using only a small, handheld point-and-shoot camera. Let me know how it works out for you.