Introduction: How to Take Action Panoramas
Disclaimer: Panoramic Photos are best taken with time. With a stationary subject and a stationary Photographer.
This is not a guide to taking normal panoramas. This is for those rare moments where a panorama would be really good but the subject or the photographer or both are moving. Like in the image above, taken while I was Skiing down a hill behind 2 friends snowboarding.
These were taken on an Olympus TG1, I will try to give you enough information to adapt it to suit any mid-high range compact camera, but I am most familiar with my own cameras.
Step 1: Set the Camera Settings - Shutter Speed
If your camera can save a personalised or custom shooting setting, its a good idea to save this one as the nature of this type of photo is such that you often don't get the opportunity to spend time setting up the camera before taking the shot.
You will want a fast shutter speed. Too slow of a shutter speed will introduce blur into the photo, either the moving subjects or the entire picture as you move the camera.
In my Olympus TG1 and TG2 camera's I get a fast shutter speed by selecting a High ISO, this allows the camera to select the fastest shutter-speed that will give a good exposure automatically.
You could also try using sports mode to get a fast shutter speed.
Step 2: Set the Camera Settings - Burst Mode
Put the camera in Burst Mode or Continuous high shooting speed. It will be indicated by the picture above, Any with multiple frames. This should allow you to take rapid continuous photos while the shutter button is held down.
Step 3: Take the Photo's
Hold your camera up to where you would like to start one edge of your panorama. Hold the shutter button in and move your camera through the range of where you want your panorama to finish or further before releasing the shutter button again.
The camera should take many overlapping photos of the scene, with the same point of the scene in 2 or more of the photo's.
You can always crop the edges.
I often like to hold my camera in a portrait orientation and pan across in a landscape direction as it captures more of the scene.
Step 4: Stitch Your Panorama
Any stitching software should work.
If you don't have a favourite yet, I like PTgui as it has a good FREE version.
Select all the images you want in your panorama, drop them in your stitching program, Save the image it makes and crop any uneven edges off your image, or crop it to the ratio you would prefer.
Finally: I would love to see any images you create using this information. or hear any comments you have about it.