When taking a panoramic picture of a stunning view in the distance, beautifully lit by sunlight, it is sometimes easy to forget what is contained within the foreground of the picture. You may be standing on a hillside with majestic mountains stretching out before you. As you take a photo of the hills and vales beyond, you fail to notice that much of the foreground is in shadow, not lit by the sun.
You can be so enraptured by the breathtaking view as you raise your iphone or smart phone to capture the moment, that a third of the photo or more is actually in darkness. When viewed on your phone or camera, the dark area is not obvious. Sometimes this means that there is no detail and often an overpowering black area in the lower portion of your panorama when it is turned into a large poster. Simply slightly adjusting the angle of your camera can easily solve this issue and give you a better result. However, not to worry, with panoramic photo prints, we always endeavour to ensure that any details are visible and will lighten the foreground area of your image if necessary.
This is especially true with stunning sunsets but is also often evident in full sunlight. In photographic terms its referred to as ‘backlighting’. In simple terms, this means that more light is coming from behind your subjects than from the front. As the camera adjusts its settings for the photograph, influenced by the stronger light in the background, the faces of people or main objects are left in darkness. This can sometimes be used for beautiful effects such as silhouettes on the seashore in the sunset, however it is not always desirable.Backlighting is often not necessarily obvious when you compose a photograph. You place your subjects in front of a lovely sunny view or a vibrant orange sunset. Your eyes automatically adjust to the light and shade of the picture. To your personal perception, the faces or main objects are perfectly lit. However, when it comes to printing out a large panorama, suddenly the faces are in complete darkness and barely recognisable.
As you raise your iPhone, smart phone or camera to view, take a quick look at the subjects you wish to be visible, not just the overall composition. You may be shocked to discover that they are just dark blobs, even in brilliant sunlight. A simple solution is to play a little with the positioning of your camera or your subjects, perhaps taking a few panoramic photos from slightly different angles so you can choose which one works best. Another method is to use your flash. Some cameras allow you to use a flash by personal choice, not just automatically. It seems daft to use a flash in broad daylight but this is a method used by many professional photographers. Your flash will highlight the faces of your subjects, making them more visible against a bright sunny backdrop. However, not all is lost if you haven’t followed these hints - remember we are here to help. When we print panoramic photos, we will often lighten just the faces in order to get the best result from images with family and friends.
It sounds silly, but something that is difficult to see when you are busy photographing a view, is often the levelness of the horizon. This is often the case regardless of whether you are taking a picture with or without subjects; it is amazingly easy to hold your iPhone, smart phone or camera slightly askew without even noticing. With mountains and hillsides, this is not of any particular importance, so long as the overall view is attractive.
When taking a view with sea in the background, the horizon level becomes very evident in your final panorama. With panoramic photo prints, even a small amount of tilt becomes evident when viewing from one end to the other. That’s not to say that you need to use a spirit level, or go to the extremes of a tripod! Simply take a moment to view the sea in the background, checking to ensure that the line where the sky meets the sea is as level as possible, perfection is not necessary, just a little adjustment to ensure your panoramic poster will be the best it can be. Whatever your image, at Poster Print, we will always ensure that your prints are the best they can be!