December 10

Learn to Create 360-Degree Panoramas Like a Pro


panorama image at sunset

360-degree panoramic style photography

Panoramic shots are incredible for gorgeous landscapes like this sunset, but there are many practical uses too, such as virtual tours in real estate.

Panoramas contain so many details and better mimic a human’s perspective.

Panoramic views can make you feel like you are inside the photo and maybe even on another world.

So how do you take quality panoramic photographs?

This post tells you.

First, you do need some specific  equipment for this type of photography but it doesn’t have to be terribly fancy for good results.

Of course it’s not just the gear a photographer uses that matters, but also the talents, technique, systems, and personal creativity.

The right combination truly creates art with images that stand out from the crowd..

Camera Equipment

You don’t necessarily need the world fanciest 360 camera, but obviously, different cameras give different results.   By now, you must have heard about DSLR cameras. They are often recommended and the preferred choice of many professional photographers.

Although they are great for almost any type of shooting, including panoramas, for a 360 degree view you can use any digital camera you have, as long as it operates in full Manual Mode and has the ability to lock exposure.

Furthermore, panoramic photography requires zoom lenses or fixed/prime lenses that can give you more options and versatility in diverse shooting conditions.

Consider taking off your lens filters while shooting panoramas. This doesn’t include a clear filter, because it works perfectly fine unless you are trying to include vignetting to the pictures on the wide end.

Additional gear you need:

  • Tripod for better results
  • Cable release for shake-free photos

Pre-Shooting Settings

When it comes to adjusting the camera settings for panoramic images, these are the recommended modes to apply:

  • Manual mode for locking the exposure
  • Manual focus lens
  • Camera base ISO (100-200)
  • Aperture set at f/8 or f/10 and higher (depending on the subject’s closeness)
  • For metering, take a few photos to find the middle between brightest and darkest areas
  • Adjust the shutter speed according to the metering
  • Use wide and wide-angle lenses
  • Shoot in RAW
  • Set the white balance to “Auto” when shooting in RAW (change if necessary)

photography landscape mountain top

Panorama Photographic Shooting Techniques!

Finally, we are getting to the good part!  Here are the most common techniques to help enhance the beauty of your panorama.

Follow these steps:

  • Locate the site you want to capture.
  • Avoid shooting panoramas with objects on the ground such as trees, bushes, etc.
  • Moving objects are tricky, so watch for the wind and avoid shooting moving water.
  • Check the camera focus and make sure you disable autofocus.
  • Visually mark the starting and end point.
  • Take a few test shots.
  • Shoot from left to the right.
  • Remember to keep the camera close to your head at all times if shooting hand-held.
  • Once the shooting is over, inspect the photos to see if there were any problems with the camera settings.
  • Software Touchups

So, you have captured panoramic images, now what?

Now you correct and assemble the ideal 360-degree view with the power of editing software made for this task.

Photoshop is one if the programs commonly used.

GIMP is a free, excellent open source software tool for photo manipulation available for most operating systems.

Graphics by GIMP

As with everything, the bottom line is: practice makes perfect!  Give yourself some time to learn and be ok with your first few (maybe) being duds.

Follow these simple instructions and find your unique panoramic perspective.

Experiment around and play with the settings.  Learn to operate in manual mode.

After a few trials, you will soon capture the “wow” moment and masterpiece photograph you’ll want to hang on the wall.

I hope these instructions help you.  Have fun!



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