Panorama is a way to capture multiple pictures of some subject and stitch it using software so we can get a highly detailed and high-resolution picture. In this technique, instead of clicking one picture, we click a series of pictures and make a panorama out of it. In panorama usually, we take one row of the picture so the final image comes very long compared to the width.
If you want to take a detailed panorama with standard aspect ratio like 2:3 or 3:4, you need to take a multi-row panorama. In this article, we’ll talk about how to take a multi-row panorama in detail. With this technique, you can take even gigapixel size picture and show the tiny details like the faces of the people.
Why do we need to shot multi-row panorama?
1. Large prints: If you want to make bigger size prints with all details, you can’t do it with 20 or 50 megapixels single shot. You need to take a panorama for that.
2. Aspect ratio: If we shoot single row panorama, it’s very bigger in length compared to width. If you want to take a square or 2:3 ratio panorama, you need to go with multi-row panorama.
3. No wide lens: If you don’t have a wide-angle lens but you want to capture something in wide angle, you can take a multi-row panorama and it’ll look same like clicked from a wide-angle lens.
4. Spherical: If you want to take a 360x180 degree picture and make a spherical picture, you need to take a multi-row panorama.
What you need:
First, you need a DSLR or Mirrorless camera with a lens. Lens choice is important here. If you want to create a more detailed and bigger panorama, you need a longer lens but if you want smaller size panorama, choose a medium lens like 35 mm or 50 mm. A lens like 35 mm will cover more area and you need to take fewer pictures so your final image will be smaller in size. I suggest you use a medium lens initially and when you gain some experience, go with long lenses.
You also need a sturdy tripod which can hold the weight of your camera and keep stable when you are panning your camera.
Now you have two options for shooting, first you can shoot manually by panning the camera and take the shot and second option is that you can use an automatic device like MIOPS Capsule360 that can do everything for you with more precision. The second option is easier than the first one and we’ll talk about both in this article.
Fix your camera on a tripod and make sure both your camera and tripod are leveled properly otherwise you’ll get a tilted horizon. Use a bubble leveler to check it.
Now focus somewhere between the center of foreground and background and set it on manual focus. Switch your camera to aperture priority mode, set ISO to the lowest, aperture to f/11 to f/16 and white balance to daylight or whatever the light conditions are. We want the same exposure and colors in all pictures so we can’t have anything on auto mode.
Now take a few pictures within the frame area of your panorama. If all pictures have the same shutter speed, note it down. If the shutter speed is different in pictures, take an average of all images. Now switch your camera to manual mode and set aperture and shutter speed the same as the previous picture.
If your lens has image stabilization or vibration reduction feature, don’t forget to turn it off.
We are ready to take pictures. First, we’ll take pictures with manual mode. Let’s say you want to take 3 rows of 9 pictures each. First tilt your camera pointing up, pan left to right and take a series of images. Here you need to remember that each picture should be overlapping 30% - 40% with the next picture.
Now go back to the first position, move the camera down and shoot the second row of images. This row will overlap 30% - 40% with both left/right picture and top picture. Again go back, move the camera down and shoot the third row. Check the first picture of each row to set the overlapping frame for the next row.
Now we’ll talk about the easy way to click the pictures and it’s MIOPS Captule360. You need to fix your camera on Capsule360, set a few parameters and it’ll take the pictures automatically.
First, you need to set the angle of view. You need to set it for both horizontal and vertical. Let’s say you want to cover 180 degrees horizontally and 90 degrees vertically, set it to 180 and 90.
You can control the exposure value using Capsule360 too, for that you need to set your camera on bulb mode. Now set frame delay, it’s a time gap between each shot so your camera gets enough time to save the image.
Now you need to set overlapping percentage, set it to 35%. Capsule360 will automatically take overlapping images according to this parameter.
You also need to enter whether you have a full-frame camera or crop sensor and you placed the camera on Capsule360 vertically or horizontally.
Once you set all the parameters, tap on start and I’ll start taking required pictures. In the case of a multi-row panorama, you need to use two Capsule360, one for pan and one for tilt.
Things to remember:
1. Shoot in RAW: Always shoot in RAW so you can bring all the details and if you have made a mistake in setting exposure or white balance, you can fix it easily.
2. Shoot fast: If you are shooting manually and light is changing (you are shooting in evening time), make sure you shoot fast so there is no major light difference between the shots.
Related Article: The Ultimate Guide To Shoot Stunning Panorama
About the Author
Ramakant Sharda is an author, iOS App publisher, passionate photographer and a MIOPS Ambassador based in the beautiful “Pink City” of India, known as Jaipur. His work has been published in various magazines, newspapers, and blogs. He has published three Coffee Table Books, he writes about photography and also teaches photography in his workshops. Check out his website http://ClickManic.com to see the masterpieces created by him or download his free app for iPhone and iPad “30 Days to an Ace Photographer“.