Panorama Tips and the San Diego Skyline

On Friday night I headed down to Coronado Island to shoot some images of the downtown San Diego skyline. I wanted to put together a panorama that I could use as art in my house. So I shot a series of photos (more on that in a minute) and stitched them together in Photoshop. I make ANY adjustments to this image whatsoever. All I did was stitch it together with Photoshop from Lightroom and then added the canvas area and some text.

Shooting Tips
If you want to get a pano like this, there are a couple of ways to go about it. First, you can shoot a photo with a wide angle lens and then crop it to simulate a pano. Second, you can shoot a series of vertical shots that overlap by about 20% of each other and then use Photoshop to put them together for you.

If you go the second route and shoot verticals, you will want to use a tripod if at all possible. This will help you keep your horizons level and give you more control over the camera. You can shoot it handheld, but you’ll need to leave a greater margin for error so that you aren’t cutting something important out of the photo when it comes time to crop. If you’re shooting at night, you’re gonna need a tripod, without a doubt.

You will also want to use some time of IR remote or cable release. If you don’t have one, then you can use your camera’s self-timer. This will help prevent camera shake which will keep you from getting blurry images since your shutter will be open for several seconds.

Last, but not least, you’ll want to start out with your camera’s white balance set to ‘Tungsten’ or ‘Incandescent’. You can play around with other WB settings, but your photos will likely look WAY too warm.

So there’s a couple of quick tips to help you shoot better panoramas right from the camera. Try it out next time your shooting. Let me know if you’d like more information on how to post process these images in Photoshop. If there’s enough demand, I’ll post a video for you guys.

Have a great week!


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