Panorama? Gigarama? When to and How to

Spray Falls Gigarama

       A lot of us have heard about panorama images. The idea is quite simple and the execution is also quite simple. Level out tripod, set shooting mode to full manual, set white balance to manual (after white balancing), overlap photographs by at least 25% and capture the series of photographs you would like to assemble later to create a panorama. 

       The concept of a Gigarama has been around for a bit, but not many people know about it. A Gigarama is pretty much the same idea of a Panorama, but requires many more shots and can creates an image that resembles a standard image format i.e. 2/3rd's aspect ratio. A Gigarama is a series of images that are not only several long or several tall, but both combine. This technique can be used for a variety of situations.

       The first situation is to create an image with massive printing capabilities. The second situation is making up for not having a certain focal length for a desired composition. For example: Say you want to get a tight composition of a subject, but not too close. You have a mid-range lens capable of reaching 100mm and a super telephoto capable of reaching 300 or 400mm, but you want a composition that is only possible in a single shot with a 200mm lens. Take out your 300 or 400mm lens and begin finding out how many photographs you will have to take of the subject and in which order and orientation to create the originally desired composition. 

The image above is an example of implementing the latter situation. A 70-200mm lens would have been great to have here, but not enough room in the gear bag. All I had was a 10-22, 24-105L and a 400 F5.6L Prime. I used my 400mm lens to create a Ten image Gigarama (two images wide, five images tall, in a horizontal orientation). I came out with the exact composition I was hoping for and as an added boost I am able to print this file at massive sizes. This is the least extreme example of a Gigarama, but it gets the point across. I am simply trying to say that your lens in hardly an excuse not to capture the scene the exact way you like most. Think outside of the box and step outside of your comfort zone as often as possible. Do not be afraid of making mistakes, it is the most important part of the learning process. I hope this was a little helpful, if there are any questions, concerns or comments, please send them to me at jbphotography2@yahoo.com.

Technical details: Canon 7D, Canon 400 F5.6L, 3-stop neutral density filter. ISO 100, F/11, 8 Seconds, 10 Images (two across, five high on each).

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