Doing the Pano

How to make a panorama image without a wide angle lens?  Put together multiple images to create a high resolution image.  The above image was taken from the top of the 17th Street Causeway Bridge looking North up the Intercoastal in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  Taken with a Nikon D90 with a Nikkor 35mm f1.8 lens, and a total of 7 images were used.  Below are some tips that will help create these images. 

At the time you take the pictures,  set your white balance manually, i.e. set it for sunny or cloudy depending on conditions.  Meter the center of your eventual image, and set your camera to manual mode and use the setting from your meter reading.  Take vertical photos of your scene and overlap some on each side.  If you are familiar with RAW images, use this format to assist in image adjustments later.  Using the D90 with the viewfinder grid turned on, I was able to keep the horizon on one of the grid lines for more consistant handheld results.  Obviously a tripod with a 2 axis head will make this job easier, but I rarely carry a tripod in the field.

Software with layers is probably the best method for stiching these images together manually, if you do not have stiching software.  Starting the the center image in a file big enough to hold all of your images, move your images together to match up the horizon.  First is balancing the brightness of each image. to match the center one, working inside out.  Then use the skew or distort transform tool to align the image parts up.  Finally, use the healing brush tool to erase any left over seams from this process.  Flatten and crop to taste!

Final image is 13797 x 3797, 46″ X 13.3″, or 54 Megapixels!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.