With the introduction of iOS 6 in 2012, taking beautiful panoramic pictures with your iPhone is a snap. As long as you have an iPhone 4S, iPhone 5 or the latest generation of iPod touch, you’re ready to go – the panoramic feature is already built right in. To start taking panoramic pictures, simply open your camera app, tap options and then select panorama. Getting the right shot involves more than just pressing a button, however; with a few tips you can take stunning photos and capture memories for years to come.
Getting a Good Shot
You can use a tripod to keep your phone stable. Simply use the swivel on the tripod to adjust in order to get the whole shot in the panorama, without fear of breaking the image by accidentally lowering or tilting the phone. There’s several tripods built specifically for iPhones that will safely grip them and allow you to take the perfect shot without any shakiness.
Following the rule of thirds is a good place to start for getting the picture you want. Basically, you don’t want to stick your subject right in the middle of the photograph; you want to have the horizon lined up in either the bottom or top third of the image. Make sure you leave enough room to capture all of your subject without cutting off any parts. The rule of thirds may be easier to follow if you turn on the grid function, allowing you to see how your image is centered.
Take your time getting the right shot and make sure you follow the arrow in the camera app to ensure that your image is going to line up right. If you rush through your panorama, you can end up with an image that is stitched together in a strange way or makes the surroundings look unnatural.
Now that we’ve gone through the basics of how to access panorama mode and get the best shot, let’s learn a little about other fun things you can do with your iPhone’s camera.
Panoramas While Driving
Before you jump in your car, please be aware that the passenger is supposed to be taking the pictures. Distracted driving is incredibly dangerous, so grab a friend to drive you and head out in search of your subject.
- Find an interesting area that you want to shoot. Think of things like colorful murals around town, or an area with beautiful architecture.
- Hold your iPhone steady and maintain the angle relative to the car.
- If necessary, switch the panorama bar to right to left to get the right shot.
- Open the camera app and select panorama mode.
- Rotate the iPhone into the horizontal position.
- Follow the arrow to shoot the image as you would normally.
- Panorama should stitch the images together perfectly and save as a vertical image, meaning you won’t have to rotate the picture afterwards.
Here’s a gif that explains really well what you need to do to make this work:
- The trick is to run around to the other side of the image, more quickly than the camera goes.
- Start by having a friend center themselves around where the panorama will be taken and hold the phone steady.
- Begin on the left side of the area – if using default left-to-right arrow – and then quickly run behind your friend, around to the next section of the image to make yourself appear in multiple places.
- You will need to keep the phone moving, even if you go very slowly; if you stop the camera, your iPhone may think you are done with the panorama.
- Can you say, “CATerpillar”? Capturing images of your pet in the same direction they are moving can give you a final image that makes your furry friend look ridiculously long – definitely good for a laugh!
- Play with different aspects of the panorama and try moving to other parts of the image, turning your head or changing facial expressions.
Create a Planet
Panoramas for All
Whether you’re capturing the perfect sunset or just goofing around, the panoramic mode for the iPhone is a great addition to the camera app. Practice makes perfect, so if your first attempts at panoramic images doesn’t work out, don’t get discouraged. With practice and patience, you’ll get the right shot.
Any iPhone panorama tricks I missed? Share them in the comments below!
Adrienne Erin is a freelance writer and designer from central Pennsylvania. Follow @adrienneerin on Twitter or visit her blog to get in touch.