Air-Minded: PASM Panoramas

I’ve been teaching myself to make panoramic montages from single photos. Lest you think this requires mastering some arcane art, I’ll admit up front that it’s actually easy.

I’ll start at the beginning, when I discovered the camera in my iPhone has a panoramic mode. The iPhone makes it easy; my first thought was “How can I make it harder?”

Actually, what I wondered was whether my big DSLR camera also has a panoramic function. It doesn’t, but the camera came with photo stitching software that helps to assemble single photos into panoramas. You use a tripod to keep the camera level as you take a series of overlapping photos from left to right or right to left, and you don’t change focal length in midstream. Later, you select the photos you want to stitch together on your desktop and set the software loose on them. The results, as you’ll see, are impressive, and I’ve only barely begun to learn how to do it. Wait’ll I get good at it!

I took approximately forty photos at the Pima Air & Space Museum Sunday morning and created seven panoramic montages. Some are composed of three individual photos, some use as many as six. I uploaded them all to a new Flickr photo set, where you can view them; I’ll include three here to give you the idea.

F-15, F-4, F-105
USAF fighters

Navy Fighter Row
USN fighters

Navy/USMC Fighter/Recce Row
USN/USMC fighter-bombers & recce

The photos I posted here link to the originals on Flickr. If you view them at full size there, and if you look very closely, you might see one small stitching error in one photo. I’ll let you look for it!

© 2014 – 2015, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

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