Make Your Panoramics Even Better

18 Dec

Season’s Greetings to everyone, we have all entered the final countdown to christmas, only one more week!  And as an early gift to you all, I have decided to share helpfull tips.


Now if you haven’t used this already Windows Live Photo Gallery comes packed with some fantastic and unique tools, one of those great tools being the panoramic maker.  Have you ever had too much going on in one frame to fit it all in?  Take several shots with your camera side by side, import them into Windows Live Photo Gallery, select create, panoramic and these fantastic program will stitch all your photographs together.







All seems simple enough, however sometimes you may encounter some unusual effects… such as strange curves, overlapping, and distorted images.  Now don’t worry this isn’t anyone’s fault, it is all down to the dynamics of our camera and how the lens works and I’ll take a few seconds to explain not only why this happens but how to avoid it.

Many of you would of heard a photographic effect called “fish eye” where the image will start to bend and twist around the edges, sometimes making the tallest tower block look like a loose piece of string.  A lot of point and shoot cameras will have the ability to do this but on a much smaller scale and this is one of the main reasons for you images twisting and distorting when you create a panoramic.  Now the reason this happens is because your camera’s “focal length” is too low, the focal length is simply how the lens measures how far in or out it can zoom.

So to put this in perspective when we turn our camera on it will be at a focal length of about 18-20mm, however the human eye sees at a fixed focal length of about 50mm, meaning the camera will be able to see more through it’s lens than we can see with our eyes.  Give it a try, turn the camera on, hold it up to your eye and look through the viewfinder.  When you take it down your vision is a lot more narrow and you see much more through the camera!  Because our eyes have a much larger focal length our vision isn’t distorted.

So all you need to do is take a step back, zoom your camera in ever so slightly, adjusting the focal length and reducing the effect of the fish eye.  Here is an example:



The tree is squashed and narrow                The tree is exactly as you see it!


Give it a go next time you stitch those pictures together and see the results in your images.


Happy Holidays Everyone!


Rob Nicholson

MS Nieuw Amsterdam




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