Making Ordinary Photos Panoramic

Sometimes I wish I had one of those fancy panoramic photos where you can capture the full breadth of something – usually the horizon – don’t you?  Well, it turns out that with today’s high-resolution digital cameras, you can easily turn an ordinary photo into a panoramic.  With a little planning beforehand.

See something that would make a great panoramic photo?  Snap an ordinary photo, being sure to line the horizon up straight, and try to keep as much of the content along the same horizontal line.  This is important later so you don’t have to crop important content out.  You can straighten the photo later using a photo editing program if you mess this up:

 

Now carefully crop on both sides of the horizon, including the content you want to keep.  You may need to do a bit of lightening / color / contrast correction, because things can get hazy far away.  In this case, here was my result:

It’s not as spectacular when it’s restricted to the width of this webpage – but if you view it at full size and/or print and cut it on wide paper, the result can be stunning.

Here is a similar set, but I had to grab a bit wider piece to avoid cutting off any of the antelope in the foreground:

And finally, here’s what happens when you manage to align everything along the horizon:

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