Playing The Long Game: Outdoor Photography With Telezooms

Panorama Photography With Shift Lenses

There are various ways to capture panoramas and one of them is with a shift lens.

| Landscape and Travel
Panoramas can be rather simple to create when you have the right gear and know-how. There are quite a few methods for creating this type of imagery but one that's not mentioned that often is all about using shifted lenses.

Panorama Photography With Shift Lenses: Panorama at the coast

Shift lenses aren't something every photography owns but they have grown in popularity and can make the process of producing a panorama easier.

Landscape photographer David Clapp produced the above shot with his older Olympus 35mm f/2.8 Shift lens by taking just two images: one for the left and one for the right.

This shot of waves at Mansands in Devon was the result of careful timing. The left and right shots were taken of two separate waves, receding around ten seconds apart, but you wouldn’t know to look at it. 

Here's one method you can use for producing panoramas this way:

1. Set the camera on the tripod.
2. Using the spirit hot shoe level, level the camera on the tripod head.
3. Now shift the lens to the far left, (around 10-12mm) locking the tripod head in place.
4. Shift to the far right and check the entire scene through the viewfinder as you shift to ensure the composition is correct. Next, make any adjustments to the camera position to get a pleasing image. It's worth pointing out that you should set your metering with the lens unshifted as the camera becomes totally confused by a shifted lens.
5. Wait for the right moment, take your shot and then shift right, take another.

Once home you'll need to combine the images into a panorama and Photoshop makes the process simple as long as there are no parallax errors (but that is a different article in itself). Other software, such as PTGui, is particularly good at putting a shifted panorama together, too.


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