Panorama Photography Perfected

No formal separation between "panoramic"
and "wide-angle" photography exists

Panoramic photography is made by taking a series of overlapping shots and using digital cameras and special panoramic software to join and blend them together creating panoramic photos seamlessly. You can shoot anything from high-res non-distorted wide-angle shots to full 360 degree wraparounds.

A panorama made from stitching 4 images together
A panorama made from stitching 4 images together

The panorama above was made using a program such as Canoscan a free program from Canon, while many of the newer digital cameras will stitch images together right inside the camera

As no formal separation between "panoramic" and "wide-angle" photography exists, "wide angle" typically refers to a particular lens type , although this type of lens does not necessarily create a panorama. A wide panoramic image is made using a digital camera with almost any wide camera lens, a tripod and some sort of stitching program.

A 360 degree virtual panorama is typically made by using a fisheye lens encompassing a typical 1:1.33 film frame, however a photo from a fisheye lens is not automatically a panorama. To create a 360 degree you need a fisheye lens, a tripod, a specially designed panoramic head to mount on a tripod, a stitching program, Javascript or Apple's QuickTime VR or Flash .

An image containing a viewing field close to, or in excess of the field of a human eye - approximately 160° by 75° - even be expressed as a panorama. This generally implies that an image containing a 2:1 aspect ratio or lmore, with the image dimensions at least double it's width as iit height. The consequential images taking the shape of a wide rectangle. Some panorama images feature 4:1 aspect ratios of and occasionally 10:1, encompassing fields of view as much as 360 degrees. Both the field coverage and the aspect ratio are significant factors in delineating true panorama image

Digital photography significantly simplified the assembly process of panoramas, which is known as stitching. Stitched images can even be made into types of virtual reality videos, using technologies like Java, JavaScript or Apple's QuickTime VR, or Flash, . A line camera that rotates like the Panoscan provides for the capturing of high resolution panorama images and dispenses with the requirement for image stitching, however "spherical" immersive panorama videos (incorporating a total 180° vertical angle of viewi along with 360° around) needs to be created by stitching together multiple photos. Stitching together photos may be used to produce tremendously high resolution gig pixel panorama images.

Fully immersive 360 degree panorama can be created from 4 shots taken with a full circular fisheye lens.

The panorama below was created using a Sigma 8mm fisheye on an APS-C camera, and taking four shots resulting in the images below (greatly reduced here to fit on the page), then using a program called a stitcher resulting in the wide image below


Photographers started vrtual tour panoramas for use in real estate, where it allows anyone on the World Wide Web to thoroughly inspect a property. You can purchase the tools similar to the ones we use to create your own virtual tours.

Click an image below for virtual tours shot with the Sigma 10-22mm lens and subsequently stitched together using 3D Vista Stitcher and compiled using Javascript to form full screen 360° virtual tour images. These are full computer screen Java based virtual tours and may take some older computers a little time to load.


Full Computer Screen Virtual Tour made with Sigma 8mm f/4 EX DG Fisheye Camera  Lens

Panarama Virtual Tour of the Golden Gate Bridge with Fisheye Lens

Panarama Virtual Tour of Lake Tahoe with Fisheye Lens

Click on of the above images to see a 360° Javascript Full Screen Virtual tour


updated article Sep 23, 2011

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