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Wild4 African Photo Safaris

Specialist small group photo safaris to South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana and Namibia

African Photographic Safaris since 2003

SEPTEMBER 2015 - Wildlife PANORAMAS - Male Lion, South Africa

Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 2nd Sep 2015

Creating panoramic images of Landscapes is a widely used technique - but what about panoramic images of wildlife subjects ?

This is a short article that explains when, how and why you should use this technique if the opportunity to do so arises.

WHEN ?
If you are too close to your subject to fit it in the frame with your telephoto lens then this technique can work for you - yes you can move further away or even use a lens with a zoom, but this is not going to achieve the desired effect.

HOW ?
This technique is achieved by taking VERTICAL images of your subject. Start by first taking an out of focus image of the ground ! - this will then alert you later in Lightroom that it is the start of your sequence from which you will build your panoramic image.

Next - take 3 or 4 images of your subject, making sure that a part of the image in your first shot overlaps a part of the image in the next and so on until you have taken all the shots you need - also make sure that you leave space on the left and on the right of the subject.

At the end of the sequence take another out of focus shot of the ground so that you know where your sequence ends.

> In Lightroom CC - select the images you want to use - and then enable the LENS CORRECTION option for the lens you have used.

> then use the "PANORAMA" option in the "PHOTO MERGE" menu - your images will be merged into a panorama.

> ** Note that it is recommended that you take these images in MANUAL MODE to guarantee that all the images have exactly the same EXPOSURE

WHY ?
The main reason for this technique is so that you can create an image of your subject that has a really good "bokeh"... the effect of the "bokeh" is improved because you are closer to your subject. Moving further back would help you fit the animal into your frame without having to create a panoramic image, but the "bokeh" will also be affected and the background will become more distracting.

In photography, bokeh is the aesthetic quality of the blur produced in the out-of-focus parts of an image produced by a lens. - it is a Japanese word meaning "blur" - wikipedia

EXAMPLE 1:
In this first example I took 4 images as quickly as I could hoping that the subject did not move a significant amount.

Settings:
MANUAL MODE
1/200 sec @ f4 ISO 400 white balance 5200K - for all images

1)


2)


3)


4)


THE FINAL RESULT:



EXAMPLE 2:

Just to show the incredible power and versatility of the new lightroom Panorama feature, I created this next example with 3 of the images from EXAMPLE 1 and a single image taken when the Lion yawned.

I had to first modify two of the original images as there was too much of the Lions head in each of these two images.

Here you will see how I cropped off part of the face so as not to make it the prominent feature in the image. My reason for this is beacuse I wanted to insert the yawning image in between the two, and wanted to make the yawning image the most prominent of them all. The Panorama software stitched the images into a panorama of a yawning Lion.


1) I first cropped off the right hand side of the 1st original image




2) I also cropped off a bit of the left hand side of the 3rd original image




3) This image of the Lion yawning replaced original image no 2




4) I did nothing to the original image no 4




THE FINAL RESULT:

The software did an amazing job of stitching together these 4 images into the final yawning shot below:

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1 Comment

  • Lovely to be “too close”.  Great idea to get the wonderful stitched combo with the crops.

    Witta Priester - May 25th, 2016 at 5:38pm

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Testimonials When two photo trips organised by my tour operator were cancelled. I looked around and found Wild4. Justyna was extremely helpful in putting together a tailor made tour just for me. I opted for 8 nights Kruger, 2 nights Big Cats & the Reptile extension. Some emails later and all was booked and paid for. I tend to shy away from flash but as we were doing a night shoot at the Big Cat Reserve, I quickly learned a great new technique and the photographs turned out wonderful. In short, Wild4 Photographic Safaris is the one you want to book with to get the best opportunities. This is not the last time I will make use of their services. Thank you Justyna & Stu for a wonderful time.

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