the family panorama: behind the scenes

This image is taken with a camera mounted on a “panorama tripod head”. Instead of using a regular panorama camera that takes one exposure for the image I prefer working with many multiple frames merged together to create the final panoramic image. The panorama tripod head is an essential tool to get the correct perspective using a “regular-frame” camera. I select my frame area and start taking many different exposures of my scene and subjects.

For this panorama I took over 60 different exposures.

I edit those frames to get my selection of potential frames.

Once I start seeing a panoramic image in my head I start merging the frames.

This is where it get’s complicated and time consuming, not to say a little crazy, but lot’s of fun.

There is a lot of work involved that is not easily evident here. But when I do all the detail work and finally the image starts to emerge it’s fun and very satisfying. Also, in this simplified run down I don’t show the trial and error steps that are very important. I put many almost panoramas together before I select the winner. The way I work is very hands on. None of the steps are done by a program for me. I think it’s essential that I make all the decisions and not cut any corners. These particular images can only become to life with creative decisions, not algorithms.

I usually take 3 different panoramas at one shooting session and let the best one float to the top thru the whole process. It takes me a full day to edit and come up with 3 rough preview panoramas. Once I have the winner it takes about half a day of intense photoshop work to finalize the image to be printed. Then it takes another day to create the final large size print. Being very specific about every detail I don’t delegate any of the steps.

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