Recently I started to collect some images for a Tamron Enewsletter on Letchworth State Park in Upstate New York, one of eight state parks Tamron USA will be holding photo workshops in this year. I came across one image that was completely different than the others, and I had forgotten I created on my last trip to the park. What made it different from the rest is that it was a panoramic image created from 5 separate vertical images, when viewing this image I realized this is a technique that I do not use often enough.
The definition of Panorama is “an unobstructed and wide view of an extensive area in all directions” and in photography it is capturing elongated fields of view using either specialized equipment or software. The simplest way to create a panoramic “style” image is to use an ultra wide lens like the Tamron’s 10-24mm at 10mm’s to capture your scene, then in Photoshop software crop the image so it appears elongated either horizontally or vertically. The issue I have with this technique is that when using an ultra wide-angle lens is that you get the expansion effect between foreground and background subjects, which usually makes your foreground subjects look larger than they should and your background subjects look smaller.
Since I did not want the look of an ultra wide lens, I needed to capture this scene in a different way. So to create this horizontal panoramic, I turned my camera to the vertical position and with a Tamron 28-300mm VC lens set at the 40mm focal length I took 5 separate images from left to right, each a small part of the entire scene I wanted to create a final panorama of. When capturing the images I overlapped parts of the scene in each image by 15 – 20%. You will need to do this so that the Photoshop software can create a seamless merge of all the images. Once I had the images captured I opened Photoshop and imported them into the program through the Photomerge section which is under the FILE dropdown, then under Automate. Once the images are imported you have a few options to create the Panorama, in the case of this image the settings were: auto layout, I checked the box for “blend images together”. Once that was done, I clicked OK and Photoshop did the rest by processing files and creating the panorama. Today there are a number of very sophisticated software options besides Photoshop, and depending on the level you want to take your panorama images you have many options.