So far, my posts have fallen into one of two categories, either “Image of the Week” or “Travel.” This post introduces a brand new category called “Panoramas.”
Did you know “panorama” literally means “all view” in Greek? Me neither. The word was first coined in 1792 by Robert Barker, an English painter, who used the term to describe his horizontally elongated (i.e., extra-wide) paintings of Edinburgh, Scotland. A savvy businessman, Barker returned to London where he found fame and fortune permanently exhibiting his panoramas in a custom-built showroom.
But let’s fast forward to the 21st century.
Nowadays, anyone with a smartphone can take great panoramic images. Just open the camera app, hit the Pano mode, tap the shutter button and start panning (the default is usually from left to right), tap the shutter button again, and presto! – you’ve added a brand new panorama to your gallery.
There is, of course, a more sophisticated way to create a panorama, but it’ll require better gear, a lot more know-how, and a computer. The technique involves two steps. First, you take multiple images – at least three – that capture overlapping sections of your scene. Next, by using special imaging software, you align and stitch those images together on your computer to form a single panoramic image. For example, eight exposures were used for the below image of the Las Vegas Strip (as taken from the Hard Rock Casino).
For my own panorama needs, there’s an efficient and effective middle ground. The image at the very top – taken from Kerry Park with its quintessential view of Seattle – was just one exposure. The panoramic look was accomplished by cropping the image from its native 3:2 aspect ratio to a 2:1 proportion. When a vertically elongated (i.e., extra-narrow) look is preferred for a given image, I use a 1:2 proportion instead.
If you like the look, feel and drama of panoramas, please check out the images in the Panoramas gallery of my online store. For a concise description of the products offered, consult my What To Order page. A nice assortment of panoramic images, including matted, metal, canvas, and fine acrylic prints, is also available at my gallery on Bainbridge Island.
Ciao for now!
Andrew (“Andy”) Bergh