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Taking Panoramic Photos With Your Smartphone (iPhone and Android)

Capturing ultra-wide or ultra-high panoramas is a great technique to mix up your photography skill-set and create larger-than-life work that captures landscapes and architectural features in a unique way.

Capturing ultra-wide or ultra-high panoramas is a great technique to mix up your photography skill-set and create larger-than-life work that captures landscapes and architectural features in a unique way.

You may think you’d need specialised equipment to shoot a panorama, but but fear not. The widespread usage of smartphones means many of us have a really good panorama camera in our pockets, with us at all times, and many don’t
even know it!

The built-in software is designed to make creating panoramas as easy as possible. Additional apps for extended capabilities are easy to access and use. Files of panoramic photos taken on a smartphone are so large and of such high quality that they will make beautiful prints.

 

Top tips when using panoramic on your smartphone:

  • Keep your smartphone lens clean
    Most smartphones’ camera lenses don’t stay clean for long, traveling in people’s pockets or handbags. Having a dirty lens leads to degraded image quality. The smaller the lens, the more image degradation happens with a single speck of dust or smear on it, and these are very small lenses. Carry a couple of lens wipes with you for easy cleaning when you are out and about.
  • Check The Scene For Movement
    Movement in the scene can be a thief of what would otherwise be a grand shot.  Sometimes the blur, or doubling up of people, cars, planes or other moving objects is acceptable. But too many blurry spots (caused when the computer finds parts of the overlapping sections where things don’t line up) can ruin the shot.  It may mean you need to take the images very quickly.  And sometimes, that movement is just unavoidable.
  • Keep your camera steady
    Unsteady hands will introduce camera shake when using cameras without built-in optical stabilisation. It can be hard to hold a camera perfectly level to capture a panorama in a straight line. The more the phone moves up and down, the more the image will have to be edited, thereby limiting the vertical aspect of the final image.
  • There’s an app for that
    You may want to consider using an application to be sure your phone is perfectly level to minimise the need for cropping.
  • When taking panoramic through glass
    Places such as The View at the Shard and The Sky Garden at the Walkie Talkie but the glass gets in the way. But the glass gets in the way, especially someone’s fingerprints! You may want to use the lens wipes you now keep in your bag on the glass as well as cleaning your lens. Then, put your smartphone directly up against the glass and begin to shoot. This will minimise the reflections. Don’t forget that shooting into the sun is harder to avoid when taking panoramic photos. Compose carefully to avoid having the sun in your photo wherever possible.

If you haven’t tried taking panoramic photos with your smartphone before here’s how to access your panoramic settings on your smartphone (Android or iPhone)

If you enjoyed these tips and want to learn more than join professional photographer Alastair Hilton on a Smartphone Photo Walk. Private sessions also available. Gift vouchers are also available.

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