How to take a crummy panorama | erality.com

So, you want to be a panorama photographer? It's simple. Practically anyone can create a successful panorama with a digital camera of any type and little or no practice. However, it never hurts to have a few tips on hand, so print these out on your dot matrix and stick them in your back pocket whenever you go out for a quick stint to capture a few dozen award-winning panoramas.

Shoot everything. It doesn't really matter what you're shooting. As long as you're taking a panorama of it, it's going to look incredible, even if it's the inside of Barfy's doghouse.
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You are always level. Since you are the center of the universe, anything that appears slanted to you in your panorama—such as the earth's horizon—is because it's built slanted.
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One-hit wonder. If you're taking time to capture more than one version of your panorama to make sure everything works out, you're taking time away from other possible panorama-taking opportunities. If that one panorama doesn't turn out, you can always go back later.
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Go full-auto. Don't bother with using features such as manual shutter speed, manual aperture, manual ISO, manual exposure, or that Panorama feature on your camera that locks everything in and makes color and lighting consistent across the entire panorama. It's easy enough to fix everything later in Photoshop.
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Focus is passé. If your camera automatically focuses on the snow-capped mountains in the background of some of your shots in your panorama and on the dead weeds and litter in the foreground of other shots in your panorama, pay it no mind. A panorama that shifts its focus across the whole scene will probably be considered neo-postmodern in 30 years or so.
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Concentrate on the here-and-now. Don't distract yourself by worrying about placing important parts of your scene at the very top or bottom of your panorama, even though the top and bottom of panoramas usually have to be cut off due to each photo not perfectly matching up. Cross that editing bridge when you come to it.
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Never stray from horizontal. Don't ever be tempted to turn your camera sideways as you shoot your panorama from left to right when photographing a large or up-close scene, even if it means cutting off important elements at the top and bottom. People might laugh at you.

Keep it concrete. Never hesitate to use a tripod to make panorama stitching a cinch. No matter where you plant your tripod it will be level, and your horizons will always be straight.
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Never crop. Cutting anything off either end of your panorama to improve composition is like abridging a classic novel. It should be punishable by being made to read one.
Panoramas on the move. If you take a panorama out the side window of a moving vehicle, it is entirely possible for it to turn out well. Give it a try.
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Written and illustrated by Randy Lavorante