Architectural and aerial photographer located in Richmond, VA.

Panoramas

Sometimes what you want to capture is too big for a single photograph. Solution, take more photographs (just like we do for HDR).

When capturing multiple images there are two key things to a successful panorama.

 - Each image needs to overlap about 30% of the previous image

 - Keep the camera level

Without enough overlap, the software will struggle to stitch the images together correctly and you may end up with a garbled mess or the software may fail to even come up with anything. Failing to keep the camera level will result in a tilted panorama. 

After capturing multiple images, we combine them into a single image using software.  My favorite software for this is Microsoft's Image Composite Editor (ICE).  I love that it gives previews of using different algorithms to stitch the images together without having to rebuild the panorama again (which takes quite a bit of time).

Stitched by ICE (Chicago River)

Occasionally, ICE does not work out and struggles to stitch the images together correctly. Usually this is because there is too much foliage that software has a hard time determining that the cluster of leaves in one photo is the same as the next (and not the thousands of other leaf clusters).

This is when I fall back to a really old program, Panorama Factory. This software hasn't been updated in years, but it allows me to indicate that those cluster of leaves in two photographs are the same. I haven't found a panorama that I couldn't make work with Panorama Factory. However, it is a very slow and cumbersome process.

For aerial photographs, the built in software in DJI's drones is fantastic. Even better, when I pull the images off the drone, the panorama is already assembled for me.

Stitched by Drone (Manchester area of Richmond, VA)

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