Photo Composition Tips & Shooting A Pano In Dorset - Photo Biker 20
I took a sun-filled bike ride through Dorset and along Kimmeridge bay, heading towards Lulworth Cove. Why? Because I wanted to embark on some panoramic photography.
Panoramic photography is a great way to capture every part of a stunning scene in one image, especially when you want to get a high level of detail.
You could just opt for a wide lens - but what happens when the scene doesn’t all fit?
We often find there’s just not enough space to get everything in one shot. That’s why using a program with an image stitcher - such as Adobe light room classic - is a great way to create a well-composed panoramic photo.
When it comes to panoramic photography, shooting vertically allows you to bring in more foreground. That’s my preference. But it’s always worth shooting both vertically and horizontally; then, you can decide which composition you prefer when you’ve stitched the images together.
It’s also vital that you move around the camera rather than move the camera around you.
You really have to think about composition to make it work. Keeping the camera level and getting the vertical straight - jump into my video above (14 mins in), and I’ll explain.
At the beginning of the video, I play with landscapes and composition.
As you’ll discover, a big vista doesn’t always make the best picture if there’s too much going on.
My top tips are -
- Find a composition that doesn’t have wasted space, i.e. too much grass/trees/boring sky (lack of clouds). Tilt your lens to see what makes for the most interesting composition.
- When shooting something with no depth of field - i.e. a distant landscape, you won’t need to fiddle with your settings. Instead, you’ll just be recording and altering the exposure.
- Don’t just zoom into your chosen subject. If it sits within an interesting environment, think about how you would bring different elements into the picture. Of course, you’ll still want to draw the eye to your subject, so don’t lose sight of where the focus should be.
- Bring the foreground in to give more depth of field, but don’t overcrowd certain sections of the frame. Move around a bit to space it out - like I did when shooting the tower with a couple of rocks in the video.
- Manual exposure can be much quicker to use than auto because once you’ve set the exposure and start shooting your scene, it shouldn’t change to create a more accurately exposed shot.
If you want to learn more about photography, from composition to lighting - all of which will help you with panoramic photography - check out my Masterclass in Photography.
Your photos will only be as good as the photographer who takes them. It’s about your creativity and understanding of how the fundamentals work together that makes a great picture, not the kit you have to hand…