Monday, June 7, 2010

Digital Photography Project: Panoramas

The practice of painting and drawing panoramic views dates back hundreds of years. However, the advent of wide-angle photography in the 19th century came to displace painting as the most common way to represent landscapes and historical events.

One panorama can be taken through a special wide-angle lens or multiple photos can be taken and placed together into one panorama. I’m sure we’ve all stood at a particularly beautiful vista and “snapped and rotated” to capture the entire scene. Back in my undergrad days at the University of Nevada, everyone had multi-photo Lake Tahoe panoramas tacked to their dormitory bulletin boards. That was how we did it in the 20th century!

In the 21st century, Photoshop can automatically combine multiple, sequential photos to create panoramas. The photographer can use a tri-pod to keep the camera steady or just “snap and rotate” the way we used to do. Here’s a photo I “snapped and rotated” for my digital photography class:

Taggers Train, Digital Photograph, 52" x 8" (2010)
We also worked on directorial panoramas where the photos are taken at different distances. This allows the photographer to emphasize (or deemphasize) the subject as he or she deems appropriate. Directorial panoramas can tell a story or just record an event. Here’s a herd of Foothill Boulevard horses enjoying a lazy afternoon:

Foothill Boulevard Horses, Digital Photograph, 30" x 10" (2010)


  1. I'm reminded of the beautiful place we live and unlimited scenic possibilities. 3D panoramic next?

  2. Art is just SO BIG! It is ever-changing and never-ending. I am so jealous of people who have talent in the visual arts.