If you don’t have a panoramic camera, you can still make panoramic photos by stitching several photos together. To successfully create a panorama you will need to take two or more pictures that overlap.
Photo stitching software will need to scan the images to find points that match up in order to fit them together. A good rule of thumb is to take the pictures so that about a fourth of width overlap other images.
For the best results, in addition to making sure the images overlap you also want to be sure you don’t move or change any camera settings like the zoom, between the pictures in the panorama series. Changing your position or other settings will make it difficult, if not impossible, to stitch the photos together.
When you have photos ready to be stitched together open Photo Pad photo editing software and select Panorama on the Tools tab. This will open the Create Panoramic Image dialog where you can add all of your overlapping photos and arrange them in order in the top preview window. When all of the photos have been added and are in the right order, you can click Update Panorama to stitch together a preview of the panoramic image. If you add or delete any source images the panorama will be deleted. When you are happy with the results in the panorama preview simply click OK and a new project will be created for the panoramic photo.
The Photo Stitching command combines several photographs into one continuous image. For example, you can take five overlapping photographs of a city skyline, and then merge them into a panorama. The Photo Stitching command can assemble photos that are tiled horizontally as well as vertically.
Take pictures for Photo Stitching
Your source photographs play a large role in panoramic compositions. To avoid problems, follow these guidelines when taking pictures for use with Photo Stitching:
Overlap images sufficiently
Images should overlap by approximately 40%. If the overlap is less then Photo Stitching may not be able to automatically assemble the panorama. However, keep in mind that the images should not overlap too much. If images overlap by 70% or more, Photo Stitching may not be able to blend the images. Try to keep the photos separate at least somewhat distinct from each other.
Use one focal length
If you use a zoom lens, don’t change the focal length (zoom in or out) while taking your pictures.
Keep the camera level
However, Photo Stitching can process slight rotations between images; a lean of more than a few degrees can result in errors when the panorama is assembled. Using a tripod with a rotating head helps maintain camera alignment and viewpoint.
Stay in the same position
Do not to change your position as you take a series of photographs so that the photos are from the same viewpoint. Using the optical viewfinder with the camera held close to the eye helps keep the viewpoint consistent.
Avoid using distortion lenses
Distortion lenses can interfere with Photo Stitching. However, the Auto option adjusts for photos taken with fish-eye lenses.
Maintain the same exposure
Don’t use the flash in some pictures and not in others. The blending features in Photo Stitching helps you to smooth out different exposures, but extreme differences make alignment difficult. Some cameras change exposure settings automatically as you take photos, so you may need to check your camera settings to be sure that the entire picture has the same exposure.
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