The vistas and landscapes of Londolozi are beautiful and sometimes your lens just isn’t wide enough to capture the scope of a whole scene. A way to circumvent this problem is to take multiple images and then stitch them together using post-processing software to create a panorama.
Here at Londolozi, I work with guests daily to make their photography dreams come true in the Londolozi Studio and although a variety of different programs are available for the amateur and professional photographer, here we choose to use Adobe Lightroom due to its wide-ranging post-processing capabilities and user-friendly format. For those of you more acquainted with Photoshop, James Tyrrell did a blog previously on how to create panoramas using this programme.
Part 1: Capturing the Image:
These are a few important points to remember when taking the photographs you will be using:
1. Overlapping is one of the most important tips. Each image to be stitched together should overlap by 50%. By overlapping this much, you ensure that there is enough information for Lightroom to use to merge the images together.
2. Keep your camera level. In order to do this, I advise shooting with a tripod. This not only helps with keeping your camera level and but will ensure that you have stability. With a panoramic this is very important as you are taking multiple photographs and in order to help with the overlap and subsequent stitching, you want to keep them on as close to the same plane as possible.
3. Metering is also really important, as you want to keep the same exposure across the images. The easiest way to achieve this is to shoot in manual mode, adjust your settings so that you get the desired exposure and shoot away.
4. When taking a panoramic one should ideally choose a subject that is not moving. Movement causes blur or doubling up of the moving object. So to avoid this when shooting a panoramic that you absolutely have moving things in, try to take the shots as quickly as possible.
5. Ideally, one should shoot vertically (portrait mode). This means that you will have more space available to work with in the final image.
6. Shoot with a wide-angle lens. For most of these images I used a Sigma for Canon 20mm lens F1,4 DG HSM Lens, something that is available for rental from the Londolozi studio.
Part 2: Creating the Image
Now you’ve captured the photos you need, you’re ready to stitch them together in Lightroom:
1. Once you have imported your panoramic shots into Lightroom. Select them, right click, select Photo Merge and select Panoramic:
2. A preview will then be created and the Panorama Preview Menu will appear. Select Spherical, then tick the Auto crop box and select Merge.
3. Lightroom will then take a couple of minutes to merge and stitch the images together:
4. Your finished product will then be created as your last image in the Library module. You are then ready to edit your image in the Develop module (highlighted in blue).
My finished product after some minor adjustments…
Many phones these days have a special panoramic feature but despite constant advances in phone cameras, the quality of the image and the resolution produced are still going to be inferior to that you which you can capture with a DSLR Camera.
That being said, here are two of my favourite panoramic shots from the last month, taken with my iPhone 6.
So next time you visit Londolozi, don’t be shy to try something new. Come and visit in the Londolozi Studio where I’d be happy to help you to keep expanding your panoramic skill. You could even print one of your safari panoramas onto canvas, which look amazing in this format.