December 31 2015

Photography Panoramas

Since much of our travels are to very scenic locations, like mountains, or (more recently) East African plains, I take a lot of landscape photos. One of the challenges of landscape photography is to try to capture some small sense of what it's like to actually be in one of these locations.

With the advent of the AutoStitch algorithm, it's become vastly easier to create a seamless panoramic photo from multiple individual exposures. Commercial software like AutoPano Giga does an amazing job of stitching together high resolution panoramas, even from a set of hand-held exposures. And, of course, as the iPhone camera keeps getting better, and Apple has added a trivial-to-use panorama mode, I've started bringing my iPhone on hikes as well, for casual panoramas.

I started taking panoramas a few years ago as the software got better, and keep taking more and more of them on each successive trip. With the extraordinary image stabilization in my new Olympus OM-D EM-5 Mk II* it's even easier to shoot hand-held panoramas. Lightroom 6 now has built-in panoramic stitching as well. It's not nearly as flexible as AutoPano Giga, but it can operate on RAW files, and the output is a DNG, which is nice.

*(Dear Olympus: please make your camera names more compact, 'kay?)

Here are a few selections from around the world.

Canadian Rockies

California

Kenya & Tanzania

Norway

New Zealand 2011

New Zealand 2015

Hawai'i

Chicago

Michigan