Panoramas (3): examples

OK, let’s finish this session on panoramic photography with a few examples, just to show what can be done. Panoramas can be beautiful but as always pure technique for the sake of it doesn’t mean art. Well, let’s see (and critique) 3 panoramas from my trip to Quebec in Summer 2007. Because wordpress is not really adapted to showing panoramic pictures, clicking on each picture will show you a bigger version.

Montreal

This one is from the Parc Mont Royal that dominates the business center. This is a typical wide cityline that screams for panoramic:

pano_montreal_wide_small.jpg

When shooting, I did a series as wide as possible, but when reviewing the panorama later, I decided to make it less wide and concentrate more on the skyscrapers (my first ones ever :) ). So the final result is this:

pano_montreal_small.jpg

Bic National Park

The day had been very foggy and rainy but we decided to try to make the most of it anyway. In the late afternoon, the fog went away and we started to have the sun appearing through the rests of fogs – a brilliant weather for stunning photos. This is a technically easy panorama since it is not very wide and exposition was straightforward but I like this one a lot.

pano_bic_small.jpg

Forillon National Park

Obviously, we enjoyed Canadian national parks a lot :) In Forillon, we went up to the Mont St-Alban on top of a cliff that has a wooden tower from which you enjoy a 360° panorama. I tried my luck with a panorama (as you would). The exposure was tricky because the forest is quite dark, while the see and especially the white clouds over-expose quickly. I exposed for “near burnt clouds” and lightened up the darkest parts a bit with curves. Here is the result – this is 6 pictures stitched together:

pano_forillon_small.jpg

You can see the imperfect blending in the sky – darker zones at the junctions. This is due to lens vignetting…

Just to give you an idea, this is a map of the neighborhood with the panorama field of view over-impressed in red – about 300°. I only left the see bit out of the panorama.

pano_forillon_map.jpg

Final word

With panoramas as with everything else, experimenting and probably failing a few times will get you there – once you have sorted out the shooting part and have made your way around Hugin, producing a panorama is not more that a few minutes.

But although technique is indispensable, technique alone doesn’t produce art… For inspiration, have a look a Philippe Plisson’s work – he is an absolute master in photography and panoramas (although his panoramas a shot with a panoramic medium format, so no stitching involved).

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