Our Photography Courses Blog

The Problem with Panoramas (Part One)

Panoramas are great aren’t they?  You get around all the problems of a not-really-wide-enough lens by putting on the panorama setting, pointing the camera and twirling in the right direction guided by a little arrow on the viewfinder.  The iPhone 5 is particularly cool for this, generating great pictures like some of the ones here.

Here’s a pics from our recent trip to Snowdon, you get a real sense of being there, don’t you?

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The problem for us is that landscape photos are supposed to show you what it’s like to be there, and the panoramic perspective messes that up!  For example in this second picture the path visible on the left edge is the same path that the people are walking on.  We think it’s hard to get these things straight in your head when you’d need to move your head to see the view.

In this picture on the coast at Culzean Castle, the view is more than 180 degrees, with a whole coastline (including Rachel). It gives you a bit of a sense of being there, Isle of Arran and all.

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Back in Snowdon, though, a problem emerges, as we can see the path re-appearing on the left hand edge which is the same path with the people on it on the right.  We find this confusing, and not really representing what we saw.

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So it’s hard to understand the composition, which makes panoramas a difficult way to represent landscapes.

So panorama compositions are tricky – see part 2 to see why panoramas are tricky technically.

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