The Creation of a Photographic Panorama

Mike Jensen Kansas City, Night Photography

So this image is months in the making, and images in the making.  The bulk of this composite image was created from June – November 2016.  To novices and newbies, this is very unusual.  But here’s the deal.  I had this image in my mind.  I know many have done it in one shoot, but there were mitigating circumstances.

The panorama photograph is essentially defined as a photograph derived from many shots which are shot overlapped and then digitally stitched or blended together.

Ok, so how is this done?  First you need a VERY sturdy tripod.  You usually want to shoot a pano with a landscape lens.  So something in the 24-105mm range.  This one was actually shot with a 100-400mm lens zoomed in to about 250mm.  This shot has three rows blended together and when printed full size it is HUGE, over 20 feet wide.

You want to shoot in portrait orientation and overlap your shots at least 25%.  If shooting in rows (not recommended for beginners), try focus stacking as the focal points of your top, middle and bottom rows may differ.

Ok, so I mentioned this was taken over time.  I shot the three rows of initial images at a time when the fountain was broken and the Western Auto sign was turned off.  I had to go back to my archived photos to use previously taken images to blend in to the pano.  A slight purple cast was added to the background to blend in with the purple in the foreground.

I can’t wait to go back and shoot this with some cool clouds at sunrise and sunset!