iPhone Photo Fun: Vertical Panoramas

In September, I was lucky enough to visit The Crown at the Tribune Tower. The space was awesome – a neo-gothic balcony with flying buttresses arching overhead. I wanted to capture the height of the space in a photo, but I realized the only way I could do that was to get creative: use the iPhone panorama setting, but move the camera vertically. I absolutely loved the results.

Once I realized that “vertical” panoramas were pretty easy, I started playing around with it a bunch, testing it on the colorful fall trees in my neighborhood. The first picture below is just straight up and down. For the second one, I made a semicircle over my head to capture the array of fall colors. For the third photo, I started from my left shoulder and ended at my right shoulder, so you could see the sidewalk at both ends of the photo. The weird, twisty angles are awesome.

Speaking of weird, twisty angles – instead of pointing the camera upwards, I realized that you can also take panoramas downwards. I recently visited the crazy Quinta da Regaleira in Sintra, Portugal, and capturing the initiation wells in panorama mode made it look like an M.C. Escher painting. I totally love this photo.


To get these weird angle panoramas, you usually have to try making the photo a couple times, because typically the lighting or the stitching won’t work out the first few times (I advise starting on the lighter side first). And – you’ll look kind of silly twisting your body in weird ways to make the photo, but when you get it right it’s awesome.

Unfortunately, Facebook / Twitter / Instagram don’t do a great job of sharing vertical panoramas. Fortunately, these do look terrific on a blog. You can take a peek at some of my other recent (and standard) panoramas here. :)