Although it’s often said that “there’s gold in them there hills” – and that might be the case – it seems highly unlikely to be honest. The photographical gold in the hills is much easier to find though I think– any sunny day and you see it everywhere – assuming
you’re on the look-out. I’m talking about shooting panoramic images and the hills are usually full of opportunities to get some great panos.
There is no formal definition of a panoramic images but it’s generally considered that the image needs to be at least twice the wide as it is high – ie to have a 2:1 width to height ratio – to be considered a panoramic. Some of the widest that are produced see that ratio increase to as much as 10:1. Many cameras can take images of various framing sizes – although most shoot at 3:2 – for example, the same proportion as a ‘stills’ image shot on 35mm film on which an image of 36x24mm was/is recorded. To be considered a panoramic image therefore more than one frame is needed – assuming that the height of 24mm is maintained. Two full frames would be 72x24mm which is a ratio of 3:1. It is possible to crop a standard single shot image into a panoramic format, for example adopting a 36x18mm framing, although most photographers shoot multiple images and then stitch them together in the digital darkroom using software.
There are numerous pitfalls to shooting panos although perhaps exposure, focus, perspective and parallax are the common issues. Fortunately, by using to some simple methodologies and careful framing it’s possible to avoid many of these issues when shooting panos in the mountains where even shooting hand-held good panos can be created pretty easily. At its simplest, two or more landscape images are captured and then stitched together. For a higher resolution image shoot several shots in portrait mode and then stich the lot together. There’s a need to exercise caution though as file size and other issues start to creep in.
During my recent tromp around the Glyders – see my previous post – we had cracking weather and the view down from the Glyders towards Tryfan and into the Ogwen Valley was stunning. It just begged for some panos to be shot. Here’s a few I’ve just stitched together. Hope you enjoy…