Part three of the From Estonia with Love interview. Motorcycle travellers Margus and Kariina talk about hand-held panorama photography, shooting video documentaries of their adventures, recording audio, food, music, border crossings and more...
Be sure to check out Part One and Part Two.
Now something I really like is your hand-held Panoramas. You don't trim the edges - so they are jagged where the individual panoramas overlap - but the freedom of the compositions is incredible! You grab everything that catches your interest. It looks really unique.
Personally I’ve hesitated making panoramas because I was convinced the results would be terrible without a pano-head on a tripod, finding the convergence point of the lens, all that stuff. I mean that’s really too much work when you’re dealing with life on the road.
I know there’s the parallax error issue that will mess-up objects that are very close to the camera, but you seem to avoid that problem in your compositions.
Have you got any tips for composing handheld panorama shots?
Not really, I can't even describe it since all panoramas need different techniques. Just practice a little with handheld panoramas, give each frame some overlap and try to stitch them later and see if it works - many times you need to stitch them manually. You'll learn the small tricks in the process.
So are you shooting your panoramas in manual mode, so the exposures match?
Most of the time the camera is in manual mode, but recently I've started to use a polarizer on the panoramas. This makes things more complicated - I change the exposures over the frames plus I play with the angle of the polarizer to even out each frame. Sky is the most difficult and even with very hard trying you can't get the ideally smooth panorama in terms of exposure, but I've started to kind of like the "dynamic" feel in those panoramas. Maybe it's an acquired taste too.