When taking photos I prefer to use vertical axis so they have a bigger visual angle, the horizontal is literally endless depending only on the amount of images I take. I rarely use a tripod. For the method used here you don't need several expositions of the same piece, as the HDR image would be created from the RAW file. However you have to be careful about some things:
- Have a wide overlap between the pieces
- Measure light on the brightest part of the panorama without burn-outs, then shoot all pieces with the same value in manual mode or with a fixed exposition
- Do not set the white balance to auto or else it might change in every pic. Use the presets (sunlight, cloudy, etc.) or the best way is to set it manually to the actual scene (if you have this option)
- Save every pic in RAW, this is a prerequisite for this method I use
- Make sure that the horizon is always horizontal and that it is in the same place on every picture. It is advisable to use a reference point from the scene, or the easiest way is to have a grid.
Overlap between the pictures:
|1. - 2. : 58%||2. - 3. : 59%||3. - 4. : 69%||4. - 5. : 63%|
You can clearly see that there is a good 50-70% of overlap between the pics, this is important to make them easy to join. During shooting check that there are no big burnouts. It may be acceptable around the sun, but otherwise try to avoid them because later it is hard or impossible to fix!
If we have our photos, let's copy to PC then open in any program that can handle RAW format. I personally use Lightroom, but any software is just as good. Basically you have to "call out" several expositions, meaning you have to change the exposition and export it into a new file. As the pieces are usually underexposed, I'm exporting them with a 0, +1 and +2 EV value.
When we are done, we have 3 series of pieces:
Now comes the joining for all three series that will be the next topic.