(Article in part thanks to Fred Yake of the Digital Imaging Association)
One of the limitations of photography has always been the camera’s limited field of view. Even the fanciest and most technologically advanced camera can’t match the ability of the human viewer to see the entire landscape around them. Since the birth of photography, photographers have been looking for a way to make the photo viewing experience more dynamic and inclusive.
Panoramic photography is the usual choice of photogs who want to give their pictures a wider frame. However, there are several ways to define panoramic photography. The methods used to create panoramas range from the simple piecing together of overlapping prints to wide-angle cameras to sophisticated computerized 360-degree virtual reality (VR) photos, and everywhere in between.
Special cameras make panoramic shots simpler for the photographer than methods like segmented panoramic or full rotation panoramic photography. Fred Yake uses a variety of cameras to produce his stunning panoramic shots all around the world. These wide-angle photos appear to have been produced with the use of a fixed-lens or wide-field camera. This type of camera allows the photographer to take advantage of a wide frame, capturing more of the subject without the difficulties of taking multiple shots.
Photographs like these by London photographer Will Pearson are a great example of the unique perspective that can be gained with the use of fisheye lenses and some special software. These images turn mundane landscape photographs into absolutely amazing one-of-a-kind works of art.
Panoramic photos open a whole new world of possibilities to photographers. It’s possible to depict an entire scene as though the viewer is right in the middle of it. These images of Burning Man 2008 by Brad Templeton draw you into the picture as though you’re seeing it all first-hand. (Click each photo to see the full panorama.)
The 360-degree interactive panorama gained popularity as a way to provide virtual tours of real estate and places of interest. Today, the method is used for a variety of causes. Jook Leung’s photos of the World Trade Center site memorials and NYC New Year’s Eve celebrations let people all around the world experience these events without making the trip to New York City. (Click each photo to see the full interactive panorama.)
Panoramas by Rolf Ris take the method to new heights. His technique makes every photo seem like its own little world. With a wide variety of subject matter and interesting locations, his panoramas are among the most interesting and visually stimulating out there. (Click each photo to see the full interactive panorama.)