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What makes a good panoramic image?

kit-monster 14 3.7k 2 Singapore
14 May 2008 1:43PM
I've recently been taking multiple images and stitching to create panoramic images and really enjoying the results. But what makes a good panoramic image? What are the rules of composition or are they the same for any image? Do very wide panoramic images have to tell a story or be read from left to right?

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culturedcanvas 12 4.7k 59 United Kingdom
14 May 2008 1:48PM
One of the msot important aspects for me is being able to use elements to take the viewer on a journey through the shot. I dont think they have to tell a story as such and panoramics can make use of many of your traditional compositional tools that are used on other fomats.

Natural frames are something I often use in valley panos with barns and cottages being framed as a starting point by trees which then allows the viewer to be interested enough to go further through the shot.

Wide gaps and little or no information dont work unless the idea is to provide a sense of scale and locale.
culturedcanvas 12 4.7k 59 United Kingdom
14 May 2008 1:56PM
Another good point is to think about using the distortion that you will inevitably experience to good effect ... especially in images involving verticals such as buildings. Dont be afraid of ghosting either in interior shots where there are numerous people but try to avoid it in less crowded situations ....
DaveU 12 1.4k 125 England
14 May 2008 1:59PM
An interesting question. I'm just wondering what difference it makes whether the pano is viewed on screen or hanging on a wall. On screen you can only scroll sequentially so you see the content in a certain predefined sequence whereas hung on a wall your eye can pretty much see the whole thing and/or flick from point to point at random.
kit-monster 14 3.7k 2 Singapore
14 May 2008 2:19PM
Good point about on screen. I print 95% of my pano's but so far have only loaded one up to a web site. Even with 24"+ the screen is a poor place to view pano shots. I think this is reflected here. I've been looking through the pano gallery and it appears as though excellent images are generally looked over. As a mountaineer I've always been drawn to Colin Prior's work. I don't want to belittle his work but some of his success must be down to the very wide format he uses.

I've just processed my first pano from the weekend in Yorkshire. I deliberately tried to work with rule of thirds, foreground interest and added in a bit of story telling. The initially run looks good. If the processed image is a success I'll upload it.
culturedcanvas 12 4.7k 59 United Kingdom
14 May 2008 2:43PM
I for one will look forward to seeing it. I agree about Colin Priors work but creating good panos is as hard as any other shot ... good panos look impressive .. then again good shots of any format do!

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