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Wide-open spaces – whether standing on the shore at the beach, looking out on a city, or standing in front of a mountain range – are spectacular to see in person. Often, they’re challenging to capture in a photograph. You may end up taking two or three shots of a single view to try and piece them together separately. However, this doesn’t recreate the beauty of a landscape. Panoramic photos make a big difference in accurately capturing the view in your photography.
What is a Panoramic Photo?
A panoramic photo is typically a photo that is much wider than it is tall. Panoramas are a great way to capture scenes that are too wide to fit inside the viewfinder of a landscape or portrait layout. Panoramic photos are created by taking several images of the scene from a single viewpoint, then automatically stitching these images together to create a much larger, single shot.
Scenes such as a vast landscape, an ocean view, a large group of people together, or a cityscape are all excellent panoramic photo subjects. Panoramic mode is great for interior photography where you can never manage to back far enough into the corner to capture the whole room. The iPhone camera panoramic mode produces a panorama of up to 63 megapixels. It creates a print of 200 pixels per inch at approximately 12.5 inches by 41 inches. That’s enough for a great print on an inkjet printer.
How to Take Panorama Photos on iPhone
It’s not challenging to take breathtaking panorama photos on an iPhone. The only iPhone camera settings required is “Pano” mode. Pano mode walks you through the panorama photo process to get the perfect, wide-angle shot. Here’s a breakdown of how to take a panoramic photo with an iPhone:
Open the iPhone Camera app, then move the bottom slider to the left to “Pano” mode. Before shooting a panorama, compose the shot to plan for the final photo. For a horizontal panorama photo, hold the camera upright in portrait orientation. Pan the camera from left to right (or right to left) across your scene. Note where you want the photo to start and end.
It’s essential to set the exposure (the brightness of an image) correctly when shooting panoramic photos. The camera will choose exposure based on how light or dark the scene is. If the start of a panoramic shot is much darker or lighter than the rest of the scene, some photo parts will be under or over-exposed. The best place for a panoramic shot is a scene with a balanced exposure. Once you find an area of medium brightness, point the iPhone, tap and hold the screen, and the exposure is locked for the entire panoramic shot.
Next, choose the panning direction, which is the way to move the camera to shoot the panoramic scene. If you want to start your panoramic shot from the left, ensure the arrow points to the right. If you’re going to start from the right, ensure the arrow is pointing to the left. If it’s pointing the wrong way, simply tap the arrow, and it will switch direction.
Point the iPhone at the starting position of the panorama and press the shutter button. Slowly pan the iPhone towards the end position. Keep the phone moving and steady – the goal is a continuous movement. If the motion is too slow, the photos can overlap. If it’s too fast, the panorama will be blurry and crooked. iPhone cameras have a guiding line in the middle of the shot when panning and pop-up messages to keep the camera on course. If the phone tells you to move faster, keep the shot even for a successful capture.
Once the end position of the photo is reached, press the shutter button again or reverse the panning direction by moving the camera back a short way in the opposite direction. Or, keep panning until the iPhone stops automatically. The photo is then saved automatically to your camera roll.
Once you start taking panoramic photos, you’ll see panorama possibilities everywhere. Did you know that panoramic images don’t have to be horizontal? It’s possible to take a panoramic photo vertically. This feature allows Pano mode to fit tall buildings, trees, or anything extremely vertical into one tall frame. Here’s how to take a vertical panoramic photo:
- Open the Camera app
- Move the bottom slider left to “Pano” mode
- Hold your phone horizontally
- Tap the shutter button
- Follow the arrow up to shoot the image
- Tap the shutter button again when complete
The photo will automatically save in your camera roll.
iPhone Apps for Panoramic Photos
There are iPhone apps available to extend the panoramic photo capabilities of the iPhone. Some apps allow the iPhone to capture multiple single images and stitch them together into one large panoramic image after shooting, such as AutoStitch Panorama or Photosynth. Apps like 360 Panorama allow you to take a complete 360-degree panoramic photo. Some apps also offer cloud storage, which is helpful since panoramic photos are larger files and can eat up space on an iPhone.
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