Contents of guide to panoramic photography
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Updated on February 28, 2019

Summary of the steps in the realization of a panorama

The stitching of photos revolutionized panoramic photography. Imagine, there's no need to even have a specialized camera, sometimes heavy and bulky, to take panoramas. A simple digital camera, possibly a special head called a panoramic head and a computer are enough! The possibilities are really very wide and the costs non-existent in comparison with the top-range in film-based photography: no need to buy another camera, only one very convenient accessory!

Camera on panoramic headIn all the pages of this tutorial dedicated to panoramic photography by stitching in this The guide to panoramic photography, I'm going to try to explain you how to realize a panorama by stitching photos. And nowadays, I differentiate two main trends in panoramic photography by stitching:

  • The realization of classic panoramas - straight or curved - possibly in a gigapixels format, detailed in these fourteen pages, .
  • The realization of a virtual tour, in 180° x 360° and possibly in gigapixels in this dedicated tutorial.

Lover of the panoramic format since I'm fourteen, I first owned a film-based specialized panoramic camera, a Noblex 150, but since 2005, I only use the method by stitching I discovered in 2003 and with which I'm jumping from surprises to - good - surprises! All panoramic photographies that could be taken with three types of film-based panoramic cameras can be taken with a simple digital camera and a special. It's a revolution!


If you're a beginner...

A new part of this guide is now dedicated to you. There you'll find pieces of advice easy to implement to stitch nice panoramas, choose your software, your equipment...

Create your first panorama Suivre





Basic principles of photography by stitching

In this tutorial dedicated to panoramic photography, we'll see how to stitch a panorama with several photos together: how? with what equipment? How: with what software? How: with what method to have regular results?
It's only about taking several photos that overlap slightly, possibly with specific equipment to guarantee the result, in order to stitch them with specialized software. Here is an idea of the result and of the possibilities.

Before/After in images


Pictures for stitching


Pictures stitched

These six photographs taken with a 35mm have been stitched with Autopano Giga. Note that the vertical lines are perfectly straight while the photos have been shot with the body tilted downwards. Two photos must be stitched as a minimum but it's possible to stitch many more like the 2346 photos of the project

Contents of this tutorial

1 - The camera and the accessories
2 - The lens: what focal?
3 - Tripods and levelling bases
4 - Panoramic heads
5 - How many pictures?
6 - The preparatives
7 - Measurement of the light
8 - The shooting
9 - The first edits
10 - The correction of optical distortions
11 - The stitching
12 - Panorama software
13 - The final edits

Assemblage en mode recilinéaire




The great steps of stitching to start well...

Here's a summary to start well in panoramic photography by stitching with different important steps if you want to make it the easy way:


Contents of this tutorial

1 -
Choose the framing and the final angle of the panorama
Carefully choose the point of view and the angle of the photo as well as the lens, the focal and the focusing that will be used. Then anticipate the desired depth of field.
2 -
Set the tripod and level it
Once the tripod set, it must be levelled for the rotary axis to be completely horizontal. Or the photo will be wobbly! Of course, it's also possible to make panoramas with your camera hand-held that would stitch very well if there are no subjects too close from the lens.
3 -
Place your camera at the nodal point
Place your camera at the nodal point (also wrongly called entrance pupil) and check that the lens is completely horizontal.
4 -
Measure the light and the contrast differences
First of all, you need to define the general exposure that all the photos will receive and check the right/left contrast differences. Also plan a slight exposure correction between the views. This will all preferably be done in manual exposure mode.
5 -
Realize the shooting
Check that the views overlap 25 - 30 % and correct the exposure calculated above if necessary. Exposure, focusing and white balance in manual mode.
6 -
Image editing
Develop RAW files if needed. Check that the levels of luminosity, color etc. are homogeneous and make necessary adjustments. Aesthetics edits can be made at that point or at the end of the stitching. Then, correct if needed the optical distortions if your panorama software needs it. It will depend a lot on the nature of the distortions of your lens.
7 -
Stitch with dedicated software like PTGui
The images are ready to be stitched with a panorama software. You only need to let it work... or almost, depending on the software! With PTGui, there are not necessarily lots of things to do but they're essential to fully express your vision.
  8 -
Edits before final destination
Make the final corrections of luminosity, stamp to remove stitching artefacts, color management etc. and define the resolution depending on the final destination, enhance for the web or print.

I thus invite you to read the page Photo equipment of this panorama stitching tutorial - Photo equipment Suivre



Pratical Guide N°1 :
The Nodal Point

$12.90 USD


My practical guides in e-books - N° 1!

"Find the nodal point or no parallax point accurately in less than an hour"... whether you are photographing a simple panorama or a 360° photo - PDF of 100 pages - More information... Suivre

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