Nearly 25 years after the first photo was taken, some brilliant photographers patented the earliest version of a panoramic camera. In the more than 175 years since then, it’s easy to see just how far the world of photography has come.
Today, most anyone can reach into their pocket and pull out a camera-equipped smartphone, thumb over to the pano setting, and take some beautiful pictures of whatever catches their eye.
With such powerful equipment and software at our fingertips, anyone can become a successful amateur photographer in a few clicks. But, if you find yourself sticking to the typical landscape and portrait shots, here are some ocassions that will aspire you to branch out into stunning panoramics.
A wedding is by far one of the most special moments in a bride and groom's life. It is a day shared by two families who are coming together as one, and there is perhaps no better opportunity to take a panoramic photo that will capture the day in all of its glory.
While at the next wedding you attend, the bride and groom are certainly going to be appreciative for any panoramic shots you take and share, but there are some things that are especially worthy of a panoramic photo.
One of the main things is the the moment when the bride and groom are at the alter holding hands and reciting their vowels. Stand at the back and take a panoramic image of all the attendees looking on to the happy couple. Another beautiful thing to showcase with a panoramic image is the reception. Take a panoramic of the banquet in full swing as the bride's family and the groom's family share their first meal together as one. The moments that are less likely to be caught by the professional photographer, such as the laughing and giggling as the bride is about to throw her bouquet of flowers (see image). Or maybe, the ballroom dance and the venue itself are also perfect candidates for panoramic photos, so don't hold back.
Family holidays are certainly deserving of panoramic shots too. This is typically when families find themselves sharing their most fun and special moments, so don’t hesitate to take out your camera whenever a good shot presents itself.
There are simply too many photo opportunities to list when on a family holiday. Everywhere you look, you’ll probably see something worth taking a picture of. But, when it comes to panoramic shots, be sure to turn on the setting whenever you’re at a primary destination of your trip.
For instance, if you are going out sight-seeing or touring a location, there is sure to be a great panoramic photo just waiting to be snapped! Having your family pose by “Welcome to” signs and landmarks, and getting all the scenery in the background, will make the perfect cover for your vacation photo album!
#3 Baby’s First Year
The first year of your baby's life is most certainly an exciting one, but many parents don't realize that photo opportunities start far before your little one is born.
From day-by-day photos showing the progression of the pregnancy to wide shots capturing all the fun adventures you have with your baby before they ever took their first breath, your baby's first photo album may be filled to the brim before their birth even occurs.
Once your baby is born into the world, however, you'll continue to find limitless opportunities to take panoramic shots. Capturing special moments, like their welcome home party, milestones, and birthdays, in a panoramic setting will not only showcase them in the moment, but also all those around them who care.
Imagine having your loved ones stand behind your baby as they enjoy their first smash cake to mark the end of their first year and the start of a bright and beautiful future. When your child looks back on their album, it's photos like these that will remind them how much they are loved.
A collage of the first 12 months can work really well as a panoramic canvas print (see image).
#4 Graduation Day
Graduation day is a very special day in the lives of most young adults. Whether it's a High School Graduation or a hard-earned University Graduation, either celebration is worthy of at least one panoramic shot.
Obviously, the best thing to capture in full panoramic view will be the moments that your child is walking across the stage to take their diploma and shake the hands of the adults who helped them earn it.
To get this shot, be sure to start a few seconds early (like once you hear your child's name called) and time it so you are capturing the stage just as your child stops to pose and shake hands. Finish the image by continuing to pan off the stage. The end result will be a beautiful panoramic shot that shows all of the graduates in cap and gown and your child standing proudly in the center.
The moment when all the graduates throw up their caps to celebrate is also a fantastic shot to capture, whether you manage to stand directly in front of the crowd or somewhere above/behind them.
#5 Holiday Celebrations
From vibrant fireworks to the twinkly lights on the family Christmas tree, there are some holiday moments that are best captured in panoramic view. The wide shot will allow you to hold on to the warm image of the wrapping paper that has been strewn about, the kids bickering over their favorite toys, and the whole family gathered around the cozy fire.
Other holidays and special occasions are also very deserving of panoramic captures. Whether you're showcasing your own decorating abilities with a picture of your own home or perhaps a panoramic that looks over the beauty of your home town or neighborhood while celebrations are in full-swing, these types of occasions are ideal for panoramic images.
#6 Parades & Carnivals
Whether it's a local parade or Notting Hill Carnival, these are the kind of attractions where you absolutely must remember to bring your camera. Panoramic images are perfectly suitable for capturing all kinds of moments you will experience with your friends and family.
When looking around for something to capture with a panoramic picture, just think about the possibilities. At the fair, the big ferris wheel lighting up in the night sky would make a beautiful focal point. At the parade, the oversized floats going down main street would be ideal to capture in wide screen view. And, never pass up the opportunity to get your friends, family, and neighbors in the photos either.
Whimsical decor, haunted houses, amusement rides, games, and all sorts of other sights that will call your mind back to this special day are ideal things to frame in your pictures.
#7 Memorable Destinations
Whether you decided to take the long way home, go on a short day trip around the area, or perhaps to a far-away destination, there are many scenes all around us that could be beautifully captured by a panoramic image.
If you have ever visited a historical landmark, a national park, or just an intriguing old (or new) building anywhere in the world, a panoramic shot can help you capture it so you can show it off to your friends and family members.
The White House in America is one wonderful example of what a panoramic shot can do for the eye. From the right focal point, you could capture almost its entire length, with the trees and gates lined across the front of the building adding extra interest to the shot.
But, even if you don't plan on traveling to Washington, D.C. anytime soon, you are sure to find plenty of points of interest nearby to photograph. Consider waterfalls, old grain mills and farms, historical buildings, and other things that catch your eye.
#8 Sun Rises & Sun Sets
While calling to mind a panorama of a sunset might make you think of white waves and sandy beaches, you don't have to be in what you would consider a "vacation destination" in order to capture a beautiful panoramic photograph of the sun.
When the weather is right, any place can turn into the perfect photography spot to see the sun as it rises or sets in the distance. Although it would be the perfect way to spend some time with your loved ones to go chasing a mesmerizing sunset, it's even more meaningful to capture a sunrise or sunset on a day that has been particularly memorable already.
Weddings, first dates, anniversaries, and other special occasions and milestones can be held closer to your heart if you have a stunning photo to look at that shows how you started or ended the day. Of course, any sun rise or sun set that is out-of-the-ordinary beautiful is worthy of your lens!
#9 Gorgeous Landscapes
Whether it's a babbling brook through the local park or a protruding mountain range off in the distance, the landscape itself offers wonderful scenes to capture with your panoramic camera.
Use water, clouds, and the weather to add interest to your photos and never be afraid to have people or animals in the shot too! In fact, out in nature, a butterfly could just as easily be your focal point as a coyote or wild horse could.
#10 Sentimental Locations
Although your childhood home may no longer be in the family, taking a photo of it is a fantastic way to showcase where you grew up for the generations to come. This is a great tradition to start in your family so that relatives can better picture where everyone has grown up and what it was like living there.
Even though you might choose to start with the home you live in now, your children will appreciate being able to look back on such a sentimental place and seeing what places have been in the family through the years. Photographing your family homes is a beautiful way to showcase your family history in a very visual and memorable way.