British Heritage – Stitching Panoramas
The technique of stitching images allows you to produce images much wider than your lens would normally allow at your current distance and also create a much higher-resolution file. The technique involves taking multiple slightly overlapping images and then combining them in software to produce one elongated image. Traditionally, and even until quite recently, the process of stitching the images together in software has been a long tedious job and one reserved for professionals. To get the best results the camera should be mounted in portrait format onto a special Panoramic (or VR) tripod head. Recent software improvements however, have meant that not only can the stitching process be automated but it can easily correct for slight movement and distortion. This means that even with a quick handheld attempt, you should be able to get some impressive results.
It is still worth following these basic guidelines though, as it will make the stitching process easier and leave you with a better result:
1. Position the camera on its side (portrait format), as this will allow for maximum image height.
2. Set your camera to manual and turn off autofocusing once you have a point of focus. This will avoid your image changing in brightness and focus point across the panorama.
3. Overlap your shots by at least a third. The more information you give your software, the easier it will find it to match up your images and blend.