It has never been easier to capture high-quality, immersive images of the memorable places we visit, thanks to the advanced technology of panoramic photo apps.
If you have an iPhone 4S or later, the panorama mode is a standard camera function, allowing you to sweep your device across a 180-degree view. Other apps allow even greater visual storytelling capabilities, enabling you to turn completely in place to capture full 360s.
Yes, this may not be a perk we need every day, although a full view around the office from your desk can be a nifty bit of history in its own right.
But if you’re off to the great outdoors or headed anywhere with a lofty view of the surroundings, playing around with panorama mode can be fun.
To help get you started, here are some tips to ensure many degrees of success:
- Hold the phone as level as possible when panning. The more you shift up and down, the more erratic your results will be.
The hardest thing about taking panoramas might be simply remembering that your phone has such a function. So before you forget, plan a hike to the top of Bishop Peak and practice your new skills.
Here are a few panoramic photos taken by Tribune staffers around San Luis Obispo County and beyond. (Drag your mouse across the photo to pan around the image; panning function may not work on mobile devices.) Have you taken a great panorama in San Luis Obispo County with your smartphone? Send your hi-res panoramic photos of SLO County scenery to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A 180-degree shot in panoramic mode captures a full bend in the river at Maligne Canyon, in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada. See the full photo » | Tribune photo by Joe Tarica
Use the function to create striking patterns, like the mind-bending results in this photo from beneath the Pismo Beach Pier. See the full photo » | Tribune photo by Joe Johnston
Meteor Crater, Ariz.
Cloudy skies soften the light and make for a dramatic backdrop in this panoramic photo of Meteor Crater, between Flagstaff and Winslow, Ariz. See the full photo » | Tribune photo by Beth Anderson
The fountain in the foreground and City Administration Building in the background provide contrasting depth in this photo from Atascadero. See the full photo » | Tribune photo by Joe Johnston
Petrified Forest National Park, Ariz.
For a fun effect, try moving a subject to multiple spots in a photo, as in this shot from Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona. See the full photo » | Tribune photo by Beth Anderson
A photo of Morro Bay shows how the exposure can be affected by the sun when it’s closer to the horizon. High sun provides more even skies. See the full photo » | Tribune photo by David Middlecamp
San Luis Obispo
A look around Mission San Luis Obispo. See the full photo » | Tribune photo by David Middlecamp
The peak of Mammoth Mountain. See the full photo » | Tribune photo by Joe Tarica
This panorama captures a man taking a photo at Sand Dollar Beach in Big Sur. See the full photo » | Tribune photo by Joe Johnston
Here's a 360-degree panorama shot of Akumal, Mexico. See the full photo » | Tribune photo by Joe Tarica
San Luis Obispo
The gardens at Mission San Luis Obispo. See the full photo » | Tribune photo by David Middlecamp
A photo captures what remains of Atascadero Lake. See the full photo » | Tribune photo by Joe Johnston