WILD 4 PHOTO Pty Ltd

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 Bastian and I enjoyed the Migration photo safari very much. We realize that we have been very fortunate to see so many crossings and animals in such a short period of time. The safari was well organized, all accomondations were first class and the food certainly a nice surprise. One could not have expected such good food in the wilderness! James and Julius took good care of us and were one reason that we saw so much different and exciting wildlife. You picked a great support team for this safari! Bastian and I learned a lot of new photo techniques from you, which we will use in the future to improve our photographic results. Bastian for sure got hooked on time lapse, I'm sure he will be back in touch with you, sharing some of the work I expect he will create soon. Thanks to you and all your preparation, your guidance and support, this was a once in a life time experience. We will never forget these fantastic sights and animals and our photographs will always remind us of you and the great time we spent together. Now we have the difficult task to sort through thousands of images. One day it will be done and I hope my DVD will do justice reflecting the beauty of Masai Mara. Not an easy task but a welcomed challenge.

Bastian & Matthias Freund, USA


Testimonials Dear Wild4,  Very many thanks to all of you Stu, Ann, John, & Justyna - for a wonderful trip. We really enjoyed our two weeks with you - the organisation was superb, the food was excellent and the guiding and photographic advice from you. Stu, was invaluable. I am sure that without your expertise we would never have seen as many animals or got as many images as we did. Several photographic friends have already contacted us to enquire how our trip went and we have highly recommended you to them. With many thanks from us both,

David and Mary Cantrille, UK