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iPhones Panorama Mode

I’m lucky enough to be in Key West this week work on some improvements at our store here. The temperatures are a bit cool for Key West this week, but at least I wasn’t around for the blizzard that hit Vermont earlier in the week.

While I’ve been down in Key West I’ve been mixing up work and play, and have been taking advantage once again of some amazing features on my iPhone. I continue to be amazed with the quality of photos I can take with this phone. As I’ve been using my phones camera feature more than usual over the last month with my travels I thought now is a great time to talk about panorama mode in the iPhone. This feature has been around for several generations of phones so it’s not new, but until you try to fit in a photo of a breathtaking sunset or try to capture in a photo of just how vast the water around you is you probably haven’t needed to capture on camera more than what’s just directly in front of you.

Since iOS 6 phones have been able to use panorama, so I’ll start with a few tips. First you’ll want to hold your iPhone in portrait orientation. Open the Camera app and swipe left three times on the viewfinder to switch to panoramic mode. This is same process you use to switch from photo to portrait. You’ll want to start with the left side of the image in the view finder, hit the round start button (same button you hit to take a photo) and move the iPhone smoothly and slowly continuously to the right to capture the scene. If you move your hands too fast you will get a blurred image, alternatively if you happen to bounce your hand or wiggle your hands too much you will also get a distorted image. If you move up and down too much during the shot you will get black jagged lines in the image. Sometimes it takes a few attempts to get the image right, so hang in there!

Here are a few tips. Your iPhone will stop taking the panorama automatically when the arrow reaches the end of the line, but you can stop taking the panorama photo at any time before then. So if you don’t want an unsightly tree or the group of people taking photos next to you in your shot you can easily cut them out.

While we generally think of panoramas as wide vistas, you can also use the iPhone’s panorama mode to capture vertical panoramas as well like a large tree, skyscrapers and more. You can take the photo the same way you did with the phone in portrait mode, the only difference is that you simply hold the phone horizontally.

Panorama mode works by combining a lot of separate photos into a single image. You can take advantage of that fact by creating some interesting effects:

You can have someone appear in both the left and right sides of a panorama. After you have panned past the person on the left side, have them run around behind you and have them jump to the right side of the scene! If your in the passenger sear of a car, try capturing a panorama of an interesting screen by taking advantage of the cars motion… the photos come out pretty cool!

Not every panorama photo comes out the way you might envision, sometimes that’s the fun and frustration of photos! I’ve gotten some pretty silly photos just from accidentally jostling my phone unexpectedly or having someone or something suddenly jump into a photo.

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