How to be a Panographer

I promised to post a “how to” make panography (this is not pornography… big difference although I imagine someone might have combined the two… Sorry… I will not)…  so here it is.   I saw this done by happenstance several years back  and was intrigued by the “look” (was not searching for something else and had a typo).   There is software that you can download that will create something similar from a photo but I believe creating your own is much more interesting.

Before I walk you through this process (It is not complicated… just tedious).  I would like to share with you some “old” panography I created of Strasbourg.

StrasbourgPanography2 (1)




I do not consider myself a photographer but love playing with photography… (like the Cyanotypes).   NOW… enough back story and… Here are my instructions.

Step 1.   Find a place and take 100s of pictures (or maybe less) .   Sounds simple but the trick is to keep the camera in the exact location and tip up or down or turn it from side to side.  The easiest way to do this is with a tripod… none of mine have been done with a tripod.  (I kind of like the interesting distorted look you get when you do it by hand…  just don’t try to distort it… it will not look ok).

Step 2.  Hopefully you did Step 1. with a digital camera… otherwise you need to scan in all of the pictures  (and you will really hate doing this… nightmare).   You will also need some “picture” editing software…. nothing fancy… just any that allows you to create a custom “canvas” size and have layers with adjusted opacity.  (I use a free one that is very simple…  Create a canvas (blank picture) that is large enough to hold all of the pictures you are going to place (if you run out of space you can re-adjust the canvas size after the fact).   I like to shrink my pictures to about 1/3 of their orginal size… so usually I need a canvas about 4 times the size of my shrunken picture….

Step 3.  I shrink one of the pictures, then copy and paste it into a new layer on the canvas.  I then change the opacity of that layer to 100 (255 is completely opaque).  After the first one is set.  I put the next one down overlapping the first and matching it up as best I can.   I then repeat this with all of the other pictures until I get the image I was looking for.   I often need to adjust the picture by rotating it… but that is where the fun is.

That is it not too bad huh???   Here is a couple pictures walking your through the process.

First picture (I am starting this from the far right)



Now I have changed the layer’s transparency to 100
Now I have added two more pictures… (will repeat until it looks the way I want it to look)


Here it is finished.  

I hope this was interesting…   You are only limited by your imagination. (for example…I wanted to show all sides of a building at the same time… and did it this way.)





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