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Material needed.
Digital camera
Tripod  Optional
Free Software
12 point guide for pictures
Lots of free time
The way this Instructable came about was like this. I was surfing the internet when I came on to a site that had a nice looking panorama. I wanted to learn something about panoramas. To do this, I needed to search the internet to find just what I needed to get started. I found very few sites that told me what I wanted to know. So like everything else I do, I thought that I would just fake it and see what I come up with. First I put "free panorama software" in for a search and came up with some software that I could try. The only thing about this software was, they put the name all over the picture as a watermark. At least this gave me a starting point.

You will have to make the Quicktime movie player as your default player to view the movie. If you need help with the default thing, go to any movie on your hard drive and click on it. You will see a menu. Go to the bottom of it and click Choose Software or Program. This will bring up a dialog box. Move down the list until you find the Quicktime player. Click on it. Next go to the bottom and in the little box on the left hand side, put a check mark in that box. Now you are good to go. Once the movie starts, you can zoom in or out by hitting the Ctrl or the Shift Keys. You can also use the mouse to move around in the panorama. Thank you for viewing it. Chuck

Step 1: Searching for Information.

After much reading, I was ready to start playing around with the panorama thing. I had seen some really nice panoramas while I was looking on the internet for the software that I needed. This made me more inclined to get started with the project. I started out with some really flunky equipment. I bought a really old camera at the swap meet many years ago for next to nothing. I was able to search the internet to find the drivers and the software I needed to use the camera. It was free from the manufacture's website.

Step 2: My First Two Panoramas.

The first couple panoramas I just did the hand held version. I didn't have the compass that I needed to find the direction for me to point the camera. I tried to draw lines in the dirt to show me what direction to point the camera for each picture. It didn't come out all that good. My next try at this was to make a paper template under where I was standing. This worked a little better but not good. But its like I said earlier, its a start. But I could see that I needed something better to take the 12 pictures to make the panoramas. (If you would like to try this, print off the 12 point tem.bmp and use it to move around to take the 12 pictures you need. Get the free or trial version of some panorama software. They have instructions to help you get started. If you have problems, leave a comment and I will see if I can answer your questions. Another thing that helps is to hold the camera level when taking the pictures). Chuck

Step 3: Getting My First Tripod.

I found a really funky tripod at the swap meet. I bought it at a reasonable price. It had the compass that I needed to find the direction to point the camera. I will show some of the first panoramas that I made. That way you will be able to see some of my first works. The first one is without the tripod. You can see by looking at the two panoramas that I had to do something different. Click on the link below to see my panoramas.

http://panoye.com/panorama.335-jay-in-the-way.html
http://panoye.com/panorama.332-fairmount-park.html

Step 4: The Tripod That I Gave Away. That Is a First for Me.

That first tripod, I gave it to my grandson so he could try a few. His pictures came out really good. Of course this was later on when I had a better camera. You will see that camera later in this Instructable. I needed a small tripod to take on vacation. I saw one at Walmart that looked good in the package. When I opened it up, it didn't have the compass.

Step 5: Time for My First Repair Job.

I guess that meant that was another project that I was going to have to do before I could take it with me on vacation. I took it apart and was able to put a washer between the mount and the tripod. I had put 12 marks on it so that I could find the direction. You can see the washer and the marks that I had to cut in with a hacksaw. Plus, I had to drill the hole out to the size of the shaft on the tripod.

Step 6: The Better Tripod

I needed a tripod for the video camera that I bought. I found one at the swap meet for $3. I didn't notice that the part that held the camera on was missing. This meant that I would have to do some real work before I could use it with my video camera or the digital camera. I had my wife pick up the metal to make the part that I needed. Below you will see the end product of all my labors.

Step 7: Here Goes My Money.

Now, I am starting to get in the business of making panoramas. I could see that, to get panoramas that looked better, I would have to get a better camera. Back to the swap meet. Where we live, there are swap meets 5 times a week and we were hitting all of them. I was looking through this box of junk and found a camera just like the one that my sister had. I knew that this would take real good pictures. It didn't have the memory so I had to buy that. I forget now how much I paid for the memory. It was $10 for the camera. For me that was big bucks. There went my allowance.

Step 8: Time to Start Taking Pictures

I went to the place that I worked before retiring and took a bunch of pictures for panoramas. I also took pictures all around the different places around that looked half way nice. I went back to the internet and put panoramas in for a search. I wanted to see what other people had on the internet and just how they were able to get them on it. I saw a few sites but no information on how to do it. Click on the link below to see my panorama.

http://www.panoye.com/panorama.744-park-in-seneca-kansas.html

Step 9: Putting My Panoramas on Line.

Then, I happened to hit this one site, panoye.com . I got to checking and found that if I signed up as a member, I could put all the panoramas that I wanted on that site. The site had a few panoramas from different countries. I was the second person to put one on from the USA. If you check the site now, you will find panoramas from all over the world. In the intro picture, you can see my homepage with just a few of my panoramas. Here is a link to Puzzs home page. You can see a map of the world with a few panoramas showing in each country. Click on the link below to see my panorama.

http://www.panoye.com/

Step 10: Thinking of Closing.

In closing, what I have to say about panoramas, it is a lot of fun going out to get the pictures. Also doing them you get some good exercise. I have climbed up on some of the mountains around us. It makes some nice panoramas but it sure is a lot of work getting up there. This is the one that my grandson took when they were off road with their jeeps. Click on the link below to see my panorama.

http://www.panoye.com/panorama.394-off-roading-in-the-mountains.html

Step 11: Close for Sure This Time.

If you would like to learn how to do the panoramas, I hope this might help you a little. And if you go to the panoye website and have some panoramas that you want to put on their website, just join and have a ball putting your's on. While you are at it, take a look at some of the other panoramas on that website. On his site, he has a tutorial and also a link to free panorama software. Thank you for view this Instructable. Please leave a comment. Good or bad. What the heck. Chuck
Thanks for the comment Anthony Stark. I am sorry that I haven't returned you comment sooner. I been having all kinds of computer trouble. Thanks again for posting the comment. Chuck<br />
Wow, excellent tutorial!<br />

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Bio: Retired and live in a little trailer park. I have a bunch of computers networked together that I mess with. We go to the gym ... More »
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