Cre­ate a per­fect panorama

Learn how to re­veal a wider view of a scenic lo­ca­tion from sep­a­rate shots

Mac Format - - APPLE SKILLS - George Cairns

Use the Panorama tool to stitch a se­ries of stills to­gether as a seam­less im­age

Af­ter snap­ping a shot of a scenic land­scape, we may end up with a dis­ap­point­ing pho­to­graph that fails to match

our mem­ory of the lo­ca­tion. This is partly be­cause our eye­sight’s field of view is wider than that of our cam­era’s lens, so the photo only por­trays a por­tion of the scene that we re­mem­ber. We could pop a wide-an­gle lens on a dig­i­tal SLR cam­era if we have one, but many of us are stuck with a fixed lens, such as the one on our iPhone.

To help us record more of a lo­ca­tion’s de­tail, the iPhone’s Cam­era app has a panorama (Pano) shoot­ing mode. This en­ables us to pan left (or right if you tap on the ar­row) to record a wider field of view. How­ever, shoot­ing an ef­fec­tive panorama us­ing the iPhone is a chal­lenge. If you pan the iPhone too quickly or un­evenly, there may be mis­aligned edges through­out the im­age. If you don’t pan the iPhone on a con­sis­tently hor­i­zon­tal plane then the Cam­era app will au­to­mat­i­cally crop un­even edges, caus­ing a loss of im­por­tant de­tail.

For­tu­nately, Affin­ity Photo has a pow­er­ful Panorama tool that can take a se­ries of still im­ages and stitch them to­gether as one seam­less panoramic pic­ture. If there are mis­aligned edges in the over­lap­ping pho­tos, you can re­move them us­ing the Clone tool.

New pixel gen­er­a­tion

Af­ter stitch­ing sev­eral hand­held shots to­gether, you will end up with an un­even bor­der. In­stead of au­to­mat­i­cally crop­ping out the raggedy edges, as per iPhone’s Pano mode, Affin­ity Photo en­ables you to gen­er­ate new pix­els based on the im­age’s con­tent. In the case of the cave panorama we’ve used to il­lus­trate this tech­nique, Affin­ity Photo can gen­er­ate new rock and sky pix­els to help avoid too much edge crop­ping.

To shoot a se­ries of stills that are suit­able for an ef­fec­tive panorama, you’ll need to set your cam­era’s ex­po­sure mode to man­ual. On an iPhone, you can do this by hold­ing your fin­ger on the screen un­til the AE/AF LOCK in­di­ca­tor ap­pears. This locked ex­po­sure stops the sky chang­ing tone or colour in the com­plete stitched ver­sion. Snap a few shots as you pan the cam­era and make sure that their edges over­lap.

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