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Hi. I'm also Bilby on the English Wikipedia, where I spend most of my time. I do enjoy amateur photography, especially of Big Things and panoramas. No special skills to report, other than the usual base proficiencies in Photoshop, Hugin (for stitching) and some vector-image software.


I've been taking a lot of panoramas lately, so I'm learning a bit through trial and errors. I have a few notes for anyone else in the same position as me:

  1. Tripods are essential. I know everyone says that a tripod will make a big difference, but the difference between stitching photos taken with a tripod and those without is bigger than you may expect.
  2. If you don't have a tripod, make sure to use the viewfinder on the camera. You need to bring the camera as close to the point of rotation as you can, and as we tend to rotate around our head, that means bringing it as close to your eye as possible. Using the screen means that you hold it away from your face, and this increases parallax error.
  3. It's best to go for a scene with consistent lighting. Good software will help, but glare is a problem.
  4. I used to argue for 55% overlap back when I used film, as that way you are covered if a picture doesn't come out. These days I'm probably doing a bit more than that, as with digital you aren't limited as much. This also gives more control points for your stitching.
  5. Objects moving from the foreground to the background - such as bridges moving away from you - are going to cause problems. This is where a tripod is particularly useful.

Generally, I'm finding that the distortion is a problem, but this isn't as big an issue with the right scenes. Choosing the right scene, of course, can be a challenge.

360° panorama of the Cruising Yacht Club of South Australia, located at North Haven. I used a tripod on this, and the stitching was pleasantly simple, with no significant artifacts. 30 images, taken with the Canon IXUS 801S.
180° panorama taken from the Dunstan Adventure Playground, showing the O-Bahn Busway. About 30 photos make up the panorama, with another three to add the vehicles. No tripod for this one, and thus stitching was a tad harder than I would like. I used the Canon IXUS again - I'm pretty happy with that camera, given some limitations. The original was much bigger, but in the final version the bus dominated, so I trimmed it back to make it look more balanced. I might still need to play, though.