Panorama photos are photos that are longer and skinny and seem to be a photo that were made to get wide, extra wide photos. Are they done exclusively for super wide angle photos? Usually!
I’d like to go over the history of Panoramas and then tell you where we are today.
Since the early days of film, panoramic photography has been synonymous with landscape and architectural images, and sometimes with other genres like street and wildlife photography. By combining two horizontal frames of film, typically 120 medium format, some film cameras actually shot panorama photographs by design. Most of these cameras emerged in the latter half of the twentieth century, bringing the panoramic format to the public eye. The panorama had existed long before this time, of course, but its popularity has only grown — and with good reason. Panoramas are fun and dramatic, and their subtleties are just as important in today’s mostly-digital age as they were during the heyday of film.
Notice how beautiful this looks with a sunset photo.
If you think about the major benefits of Panoramas, you will certainly think it’s easier to compose your photo. You don’t have to worry about if you have too much sky or foreground, it’s like you automatically cropped your photo to it’s optimum. It makes me wonder why we don’t see more panorama photos.
The compositional side of panoramic photography certainly is not the only reason for its popularity, but panoramas are useful for images that cannot be composed in more typical ways. Often, I use the panorama format simply because the spaces above and below my subject would boring with a 2×3 frame — other times, I do so to make my image easier to balance. Panoramas are not ideal for every composition, but they are crucial tools in more situations than you may think.
Consider a typical (high-end) photo printer: the width of the print is set at a certain size (since, say, a 24-inch printer simply cannot fit anything larger), but the length of the print is essentially unlimited. The reason is that, past a certain size (typically 13×17), photo paper tends to come in rolls rather than sheets. These rolls can be tremendously long, often more than fifty feet (15 meters).
Above most sofas and beds, for example, the wall is wider than it is tall. Quite often, the difference is significant. And, for landscape photographers who want to sell their work, home decoration is one of the largest markets. It makes sense to cater to people’s needs, then, and panoramic art is disproportionately popular for bedrooms and living spaces.
Most newer Android and iPhone models have a panorama mode built into the camera, but if you don’t wanna go that route, there are a number of panoramic photo apps available to download.
How to take a panorama photo with your phone:
- Open your phone’s camera and put it in panorama (or Pano) mode.
- Hold the phone vertically for a horizontal panorama, or horizontally for a vertical panorama.
- iPhone users can tap the arrow to change the direction of the panorama. Android users can move left or right without specifying their direction.
- Tap the shutter button to start your panorama.
- Move the phone to capture the desired scene, keeping it as steady as possible.
- When you’re done, tap the shutter button to finish. If you reach the end of the line/box that displays on your phone while taking a panorama, it may automatically stop taking the photo and save it.
Take your time, and find out from your camera how and if you can do panorama photos. If you find you can’t do it with your regular camera, see if your smart phone can do it. We would love to share your experience with Panorama.
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