Recently I have been addicted to Panoramas. For some reason I put off playing with them for years, and stitching images together has been a revelation. Gone are the days of struggling to get everything in frame or the lens deciding my composition. Not being confined to the standard 6×4″ format is freeing to say the least.
Stitch two images, stitch five, stitch more. You decide what you want in the frame and how wide to go. The most obvious reason to go wide is to capture more of a landscape. You can get an amazing sense of scale by fitting more in your frame, putting your subject in context. Instead of just having a picture of a shed, you can capture the surroundings showing you what the landscape is like around it.
Sure you could have stepped back and/or put on a wider lens, but there are several advantages to stitching multiple images together. The first one is that you get a higher resolution image. Secondly the composition may suit better, or you may want a slightly longer lens to compress the image and give a different perspective. That said the most practical advantage is that you just may not have room to get back far enough to get your whole subject in frame.
As always composition is key. Does the landscape really suit a shot that wide? What does it add to the shot? Try to still use things like the rule of thirds and leading lines to lead the eye through the whole photo. I’m guilty of sometimes doing a panorama when perhaps a single frame could of done the job. Keep in mind also how much foreground and sky you want in the shot, you can also stitch several portrait orientated photo’s together to get more height to your image.
While I may have been overusing the technique lately, panoramas are a heap of fun and a fantastic tool to have in your photography toolbox.