Panoramic crops (and some thoughts on scouting locations)

Two new panoramic images, made from just cropping the original image. The sunrise image was shot with the Sony NEX 5 while the snowy landscape with the Leica M8.

I rarely do panoramic images from crops nowadays, and the reason is simple. You get beautiful 6×17 aspect ratio images but with very few megapixels size. That means that they are only good for the web of very small prints. Printing a small panoramic image is not an option for me since the small size really creates a strip which most times is unimpressive. I keep doing it for two reasons, first to capture a scenery like (and can safely post it on the web since the size does not matter in this case), and second to use it as a guide for future shots.

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If I feel that I really like the panoramic look of a specific location, I can return to the same place and do a proper pano, either with my 617 camera or by stitching digitally. I always mark my locations coordinates (either by memory if it’s a known place or by GPS) so that I can be able to travel back there and make a good image.

Scouting an area before actually taking an image was not something I did often. I was just shooting everything I saw and kept the best files. But when I shoot film, especially medium format 6×9 and 6×17, you get more selective and careful about what you shoot. With only 4 frames per roll on my panoramic camera and 8 frames on the Fuji GSW690, you don’t just start shooting photos like with a digital camera. It’s expensive and very time consuming since it involves hours of scanning and process. So the conditions have to be great. Scouting an area is the only way to do that, by finding a good location, know how to access the specific spot you will place your tripod, and of course determining the specific hour with the best lighting conditions.

While I do that, I can also shoot some photos with my digital camera to work as a guide, but some of them can also turn out to be good images, so even when scouting I can make images.

I find myself nowadays to take much fewer images than I used to, and thats good for me since I don’t like to spend much time choosing from hundreds of shots in front of my computer. Now, this not an advice, it’s just the way I like to practice photography. I know people who literally take hundreds of images on a photo trip and get superb images but they have the patience to do the selective process, this is just not my way of making images.

Anyway, here’s the second pano crop taken with a Sony NEX 5 camera (and that’s sure a location I will visit again during winter to make a 6×17 film image!!)

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(c)2011 Konstantinos Besios. All rights reserved.

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