Creating Panoramic Photographs from Multiple Images
This month it struck me how beautiful the images of Greece are and how panoramic photographs capture the feeling of the vastness of the countryside and the Mediterranean. But we don't all travel with wide angle lenses and cameras capable of capturing this type of image. We can however, use multiple images and any editing program to create the same type of photograph with small amount of effort. I have chosen a program that is available on any PC with recent versions of the Windows operating system. Mac users, see below.
Start at one side of your scene and take a photograph. Pick a marker on the opposite side of the image, such as a building, a rock, a distinctive tree or any other object which you can identify in the next image.
Now move your camera straight across so that the marker is in the opposite side of your viewfinder and take a second picture, again taking note of a distinctive marker in the opposite corner. Often it is easier to get a stable, straight sequence of pictures if you use a tripod for this task, but no one says they have to be exact.
Do this again for as many images as it takes to get complete coverage of your scene.
Many of you will have photo editing software available to you. But for some, especially those of us using internet cafes in foreign countries, you can use a program which is included in any Windows based operating systems called Paint.
Click on the start button in Windows, then choose All Programs and Accessories, you will find a program called "Paint". Paint is a rudimentary program which allows you to do simple manipulations to any image that you have on your computer. If you have photo editing software programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Corel Paintshop Pro or Roxio Photo Suite available to you, the same basic principles apply as in Paint.
Open the first of your photos in the program. Move your mouse over the bottom right hand corner until you see the double arrow. Left mouse click and drag the white space around the photo to the full size of your screen. Then for the second photo click on Edit from the menu and choose "paste from". Choose your second photo. Once pasted you should resize this image and crop it as needed to match up your distinctive points between the two images. Then continue this sequence for each of your photos. You can move the image around to match up your distinctive objects and thereby creating a panoramic photograph of the entire landscape in front of you.
Macintosh users can create similar effects. You will need to download and install a graphics utility program. GraphicConverter (http://www.lemkesoft.com) is a good basic shareware utility. Free "HuginOSX" (http://hugin.sourceforge.net/) specializes in photo stitching, but takes a bit longer to learn.
Make sure you save the new image with its own file name so that you can reminisce about the breathtaking beauty of the scene for years to come!
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Question or comment on this article? Email Maureen.