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Panoramic Vision

Copyright Scott Bourne 2009 - All Rights Reserved

If your creative vision has hit a wall or you are just bored with your photography, consider shooting with the panoramic format.

While the panoramic camera is as old as photography itself, I was not aware of panoramic photography until 1995. At a photo workshop, the teacher (Joe Meehan) had images pasted on the wall that took my breath away. They were panoramic images of nature scenes, and I couldn’t stop looking at them. That was when I decided to try panoramic photography.

Not every situation lends itself to panoramic photography. There are however, many situations that scream for panoramic views. Group portraits, seascapes, grand scenic vistas, architecture, stadiums, skylines, stage productions, and cityscapes are all popular panoramic subjects. It is important to remember that seeing a panoramic image involves scanning from side-to-side rather than isolating one single dominant aspect of a scene.

Recently, panoramic cameras have been finding their way into less conventional situations. Try photographing a sporting event with a pan camera. Or how about doing an environmental portrait that really shows the executive in her element?

Experimentation is the key and thankfully, the angle of view that most panoramic cameras offer is so different that experimentation comes easy.

When I attend or teach workshops, join Internet discussion groups, read photo magazines or generally just chat with other photographers, I hear people talking about seeing the same old images. I believe that panoramic photography is a great way to defeat this line of thinking. Rent, buy or borrow a panoramic camera next weekend and go shoot some of your favorite locations.

You can also use digital tools to stitch together images and make them into panoramas.

I am willing to bet that the panoramic format will change the way you see and help you make new and exciting images of old and familiar places.