How to shoot and edit panoramas

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This is a question I get asked a lot, how do you shoot panoramas.

It is in fact a very simple process, but for someone that is just starting out it can be quite frightening so ill break it down for you and when im finished you will be saying to yourself is that it, is it really that simple, yes it is.

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This image was taken from a recent trip to Snowdonia at Cwm Idwal, and with the breathtaking views it was the perfect opportunity to shoot a panorama.

Before I get into process ill show you a few panorama images ive taken or you can see some in my portfolio section of my website

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What gear do you need?

This is simple, if you read plenty of tutorials you will probably already know the basics of gear but you will be surprised how many people dont know.

A camera, preferably something that can shoot in Manual Mode, See my list of equipment below (may contain affiliate links)

  • My Camera Canon 6D Mk2
  • A lens – The purpose of this, the lens doesn’t need to be anything special, the photos from wales were shot with a Canon 24-105mm
  • A tripod, this is a must really, you can shoot handheld for sharp images it is best to use a tripod

And thats it really, however you can get extras that will help enhance your images like filters, these really do help and for the images above, they were all taking using filters, they are great tool to have in your bag. I use Nisi V5 pro and a Nisi 0.9 soft grad and I also have a Lee 10 stop.

The process

People may shoot panoramas in a totally different way but the way I shoot I feel is the better way as you get more in shot and its easier to edit. I know people that will shoot a panorama in landscape form. I actually shoot my panoramas in portrait.

So once you have found your location you place your camera on a tripod and set it so the camera is positioned in portrait mode, most tripod heads will allow you to do this.

I cant give you the settings as all scenes will require different settings so that part is down to you. Once I got my settings I locked them in place which is a great feature of the Canon 6D Mk2.

Shoot in Raw so you have more control in post

If you set your camera to Manual mode you want to take each image with the same settings, you dont want these to change as your shooting as when it comes down to the editing parts of the image will be different, this is the most important part of shooting a panorama.

Once you’re ready and you have your set up and ready to shoot and you want to be shooting from left to right, so find where you want the panorama to start and set it away to shoot. If you dont have a remote shutter set your camera to a 2 second timer to avoid any camera shake.

Once that image has been taken you want to move your camera (not the tripod) to the right but you want to make sure the frame is overlapping by at least 2/3, its better to have a larger overlap as its makes the editing process easier. Keep repeating this process until your happy with the whole frame. its better to make it bigger as you can crop it later if needed.

Editing your Panorama

There are many ways to edit a panorama from manual to the easier pre build panorama setting in Lightroom, which is how I edit mine.

When you have imported your RAW files into Lightroom you need to highlight all the images, right click, photo merge then panorama.

Now it’s just a waiting game, if you shoot in RAW it can take a while depending on how many images you took and your computer.

You can mess about with the setting and you have the option to auto crop which is your choice if you want to press it. mess around and see what suites you.

And thats it for most part. After this has been complete I usually transfer to Photoshop and edit in Adobe Camera Raw, do some tweaks then back to Lightroom for further adjustments.

I’ll do another blog and video to along with this blog, but you have the basics on how to shoot a panorama, if you want to send me your images ill do a little video compilation of the entries to see what you have come up with.

You can tweet me @adventure_brown or email me lewis@adventurebrown.co.uk

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