True panoramic photography can be done with special equipment or with help of photo editing software, but we can also do without any special equipment.
Panoramic photography should not be considered as a wide angle photography. A wide angle lens, or a fish eye lens may cover the field of 270°, however, the aspect ratio of an image remains the same - 3 : 2
If we crop an image, which is shot with a wide angle lens, in such a way that the aspect ratio is greater than 2 : 1, then the shot will look like a panoramic view. However, optical distortion in form of barrel distortion produced by extreme wide angle lens will produce curvature on horizon.
Panoramic photography done with normal or semi-tele lens requires multiple images and image stitching. If we are using photo editing software, then stitching is done to produce a seamless photograph. Yet, we have to feed the software with such photographs, that can be stitched without much editing.
A good sturdy tripod is useful in panoramic photography, but it is not a must. Use 105 mm or 135 mm lens on 35 mm camera and shoot series of images, keeping the camera as leveled as possible. Starting from extreme left side frame, take the first picture. Note any object (a tree or a stone) placement at the right edge of the frame and turn the camera till that object remains in the frame. This way, the second picture will have some area, overlapping the first picture. Over lapping should be done for at least 20% to 25% of previous picture.
Keep rotating and shooting the scene till the end. We can complete the entire circle, and in such case, we will click the same photo again, which was shot first. Keep the horizon at same placement. This is a tricky part, especially if there is no visible horizon, but the scene is surrounded by mountains. Here a tripod plays important role. When the camera is mounted on a tripod, which is perfectly leveled, then there is no need to worry about this problem.
Slight tilt up or down by 5° is acceptable in panoramic photography, but if possible, try to avoid any camera tilt. Now these images can be compiled in one photograph and panoramic picture can be completed.
Panoramic photography can also be done with special cameras, designed for this shot. Cameras, with a feature of panoramic images will shoot a 35 mm film at about 24 x 74 mm negative size. (Exact size will depend on the model of the camera.) So we will get 18 photographs from a 36 frame roll and the aspect ratio is 3 : 1
Other cameras, which are specially designed for only panoramic photography have a rotating lens and moving film. Upon click, the lens rotates to complete the task. The lens is placed in a tube, which is placed on top of the camera body. These cameras are now out dated, but were indispensable, in analog and film photography, where no help from photo editing software was available for panoramic photography.
Now digital rotating cameras are also available, which can shoot an image of 360° panoramic photograph line by line. Other version of digital camera has in-built software to stitch a series of images.
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