Panoramic photographs

Hover over a link above to display a popup thumbnail image at the top of this page, or click on a link to display a larger image (use the back arrow on your browser to return).
Click here to display all the panorama thumbnails at the bottom of this page.
Click here to view a slideshow of all the panoramas, then type q to quit.

I have been taking panoramic photographs since 2003; this page shows my favorites. Some of the panoramic images are very large, so the full-resolution photos may load slowly if you have a slow web connection. If your browser supports zooming (<Ctrl>+<mouse wheel> in Firefox, for example), you can adjust the image size to fill your browser window vertically and then use the bottom scroll bar to scroll horizontally.

A lot can go wrong in a panorama. Most obviously, exposure must be consistent across the separate frames, so you must guess where you want the exposure to be "correct" before you start. Adjacent frames must align well both horizontally and vertically, so distinct horizontal and vertical elements help. Frame stitching works much better if you use a tripod, but I usually do not carry a tripod when I travel. I find I can get decent results handheld with sufficient care. Anything moving from frame to frame within the image creates a problem, especially if captured crossing a frame boundary. For example, moving water always look bad, as in the Venice Beach picture, where the ocean waves in adjacent frames misalign. Now that I've been doing these for years, I'm pleasantly surprised when the result is at all satisfactory. Often, there are many disappointments along the way.

The Bleeker Street picture is an experiment, not very successful. Normally, you take a panorama from a fixed position, panning the camera between frames. This produces a consistent point of view, but the results are unsatisfying when reproducing a planar surface, like building storefronts along a street. For the Bleeker Street pano, I moved down the street between successive frames instead; the storefronts look better as a result, but of course 3-dimensional elements out of the storefront plane (building awnings, for example) do not align correctly.

I wrote an animated panoramas page (requires Java!) for panorama viewing in 2003, because at that time many browsers did not support panning and zooming in images (but did support Java). I keep that page around as an interesting artifact, but I no longer maintain it, since modern browsers generally handle large images well.

Show all panoramas