Masthead header

A picture within a picture

Overlook of Rio Santo Domingo at Las Nubes, Chiapas, Mexico with a 24mm lens

Overlook of Rio Santo Domingo at Las Nubes, Chiapas, Mexico with a 24mm lens

In calm conditions, the turquoise coloured water flows over pale-toned calcareous rocks and around small islands. This changes when the river is in spate as the churning white water surges through the rapids. After gaining elevation for a better view onto a plain or wetland below, the natural instinct is to use a wide-angle lens. Yet, this may not always be the best lens for every landscape. I usually begin by using a wide lens before switching to a longer lens to take portions of the whole vista – what I call a picture within a picture.

A horizontal crop of Rio Santo Domingo at Las Nubes with a 24-120mm lens set at 110mm

A horizontal crop of Rio Santo Domingo at Las Nubes with a 24-120mm lens set at 110mm

 

A vertical crop of Rio Santo Domingo at Las Nubes with a 24-120mm lens set at 120mm

A vertical crop of Rio Santo Domingo at Las Nubes with a 24-120mm lens set at 120mm

From bitter experience, I have found it is always worth taking both horizontal and vertical shots, because you never know the shape of the space a client has to fill.

Finally, using a tripod, I took a series of four horizontal images with the zoom lens at 24mm, each overlapping by at least 25% to combine into a stitched panorama. The final image shows I gained some partially silhouetted foliage in all four corners which provides a natural frame to the panorama.

Stitched panorama from 4 horizontal images of Rio Santo Domingo at Las Nubes, Chiapas, Mexico

Stitched panorama from 4 horizontal images of Rio Santo Domingo at Las Nubes, Chiapas, Mexico

Photoshop actions

File > Automate > Photomerge > Reposition only. (Tick) Blend images together > Select files > Run

Using a wide angle lens for a panoramic sequence may result in a very wide panorama without much depth. Then, shooting in a vertical format will give often give a better proportioned panorama. This exercise is a good one for appreciating how composition works at different scales – with maybe abstract patterns, diagonals or sinuous lines not immediately apparent in a wide shot.

Rio Santo Domingo at Las Nubes, Chiapas, Mexico with a 24mm lens

Rio Santo Domingo at Las Nubes, Chiapas, Mexico with a 24mm lens

View from the footbridge where the river flows through a narrow gorge. Here, a vertical format is the only option worth shooting. (24mm)

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

*

*