How to do a panograph

8 min read

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xportebois's avatar
By xportebois
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Each time I post a panograph, some people ask me how I made it, so I found it useful to make a news about the how to.

Cambrosia Panograph 2 by xportebois What's a panograph ?

I must confess I'm not pretty sure of the right word, but panograph is the most used to this technique.

A panograph is a picture made of the juxtaposition of many pictures, a bit like a panoramic photo ; the difference is that in a panograph, the differents shots are easely visible.
To put it in a nutshell, it's a unique picture made of many, and the action of gathering the pictures together is still visible.

As pictures are better examples, here some panographs
(full view please ;)) :

Sunset panograph by DJColdwater Lake Monona Panograph by bahmanzakeri HD 205 by Die-Dulci-Fruere

Cambrosia Panograph 1 by xportebois panography no dates haha by potnoodle420 Vater, Mutter, und Sohn by xportebois

HD 205, Spring Version by Die-Dulci-Fruere Marquette Panograph by xportebois Downtown by olorinthewhite

War broke its servants by xportebois Cambrosia Panograph 2 by xportebois Station BriseCoeur, Terminus by xportebois

How to make it ?

On the spot

* Lower the pixel quality of your shots. You will make an unique shot from many, so you don't need 10M pixel photographs - besides, it will be easier to manipulate under Photoshop or The Gimp lighter images.

* Use manual mode, in order to modify the exposition. The goal is to get really different shots, so scan the subject with good exposition, then with under exposition, and finally with surexposition. Then you'll get brighter and darker shots that will make the panograph better.

* Work it baby ! Don't move yourself, but turn your camera. Take in landscape format, in portrait format, and all in-between possible :) Take shots in unwaiting angles, you don't have to make good isolated shots - the result will be the panograph, not each picture alone. In fact, you just have to focus on a area, turn your camera randomly, wait for auto-focus and shot. That's all.

* Don't magnify ! Always keep the same magnificience ratio, or you'll have to scale your pictures in post-process, and it will be a pain in the ass, believe me ! You will be able to do that when you will be a ninja photographer ;)

* Don't forget an area. Often we take the interresting points, but forget the rest. Keep in mind that you will make a big, big picture at the end, so you have to shot each part of it. Or you will have a stupid blank hole in the middle of your panograph :(

* last tip : take a "reference" shot first, one centered and correctly horizontal. It will help you to put each other picture on it and arrange them.

At home

The post-process job is quite easy :

* Create a biiig picture (say, 5000 * 5000) and put each shot you took in it. Begin with your reference shot, then put all the others quickly, in the correct corner.

* Hide all the pictures except the reference one. Then unhide one of them, and place it. Don't be afraid to not fit exactly, you don't have to. It's the goal of a panograph ;) Then do it again with each of your shots.

* Change the orders of the shots. Try to have the most of "chaos" and deconstructive appearance. Don't hesitate to remove some of the pictures. The idea is to have each interresting point in two shots, never in one alone. (See the beautiful tree ? It has to be on 3 or 4 shots, not 1 :))

* If your exposition variations unsatisfied you, you always can modify it with Photoshop or the Gimp itself, but it's a second hand solution.

* After placing all shots, crop your picture to fit the panograph. Cut the corners or don't, it's as you wish

* Do the post-process you're used to, to get your personnal touch ;)

Well, as you see, it's quite easy. All difficulties are during taking shots. At home there's any problem, except the one you can't resolve then ;)
So be sure you respect all the rules and tips during the shot session before quitting the spot.

Hope it will help :)
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howardtj43147's avatar
Very Good.

Your article was referenced here : [link]

lilleGekko's avatar
Interesting article!
Maybe I'll try it sometime :nod:
McMichi's avatar
Thanks for sharing this tutorial! I've planned all the time to that kind of photography and now I've a helpful instruction to do it :)

Ketsurui199's avatar
Sweet allways wondered how you did that :)