When you are shooting a panoramic with your camera, do you ever wonder when you should stop sweeping across?
When I was photographing this scene of the Chicago River, Initially, I was drawn to frozen Chicago River, and how part of it was yet to be frozen under the bridge. This pattern of unfrozen water made a nice shape. The lens on my iPhone wasn’t wide enough to grab this entire shape with the bridge in one photo, so I busted out the panorama mode.
Starting to sweep from left to right, I wanted to get the context of the frozen river on the left. The unfrozen part in the middle was a breeze, but then I started to get the staircase on the right. At first I didn’t want the staircase, because it would be distracting. But as I continued to sweep across, the staircase started to look really cool!
In fact, the staircase in this layout is now a compositional device that allows the viewer to walk up into the photo.
When shooting panoramics, it’s always better to go a little bit farther with your pano sweep, just in case you might capture some interesting elements. You can always crop the pano later.
It’s so funny to think that 10 years ago we had to hand stitch multiple photos together to make a pano.