Pan My Smart Phone? Definitely!


One thing I can’t do with my DSLR is take panoramic shots. I like them for their more encompassing record of what I saw, a way to capture the surroundings more than a single image can. Using a wide angle lens may not always be the solution; an interesting background tends to recede more the wider the focal length becomes.

Daffodils, Skagit Valley, Washington

Corvette club, Fresno, California

lyttleton

Lyttleton, South Island, New Zealand

whitney1

Alabama Hills (foreground), Mount Whitney (background), Lone Pine, California

Without a tripod I take a series of partially overlapping handheld shots, sometimes as many as a dozen depending on the subject, with the camera controls set to a constant EV value. I do post-processing with image-editing software. The steps are a bit involved.

It’s therefore a huge convenience that smart phones can do the work for you. For those unfamiliar with how this works, select the panorama function in the camera settings, then sweep the phone in a steady arc (horizontally or vertically) until done. It’s basically doing what I do with the DSLR except that it uses built-in intelligent software to create a composite. In my previous post, I indicated that I inherited an iPhone 6s, so I took this test shot.

Sammamish State Park, Issaquah, Washington

Despite some cylindrical distortion (not unusual for panos even with DSLRs), I was happy with the result. No extra work on my part. Life just got less complicated.

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