In my last post, I showed a sunset image I shot at Rita Blanca National Grasslands in the Texas Panhandle with the “usual” 3:2 ratio of most digital SLR cameras. But what if the sunset is exploding across a wide part of the sky? That little 3:2 ratio can only capture a little part of that sunset in one click. What to do?
In film days, you might pull out a big panoramic camera but with digital, you have another option – take a series of overlapping images and combine them together in the computer later. There is more to it in terms of technical stuff, but my point is this – digital photographers are no longer limited only to capturing 3:2 images. Train your eye to see images in any proportion, then shoot it in overlapping images to open up a whole new world of images. This image below was taken just a few minutes before the image I showed in my last post and that is normal for me. When possible, I will quickly shoot all the normal 3:2 images I see, then switch to shooting a panorama if the opportunity presents.
This panorama consists of 8 images, overlapped 50%. Each is shot vertically to give me more pixels and less distortion when stitched together. (You can overlap less, usually, but I am pretty conservative). Final image is roughly 16,000 pixels wide by 5,000 pixels tall. At full resolution, the image is 56″ wide by 16″ tall at 300ppi, so it could be printed 8′ wide without much problem.
Shooting images like this can let you create images with huge amounts of detail. Here is a full sized crop of the cattle and rain on the lower left part of the horizon.
This might look nice above a couch at 90″ wide by 27″ tall, perhaps? . . . . Anyone?