Building Panoramic Images in The GIMP
Obviously, Pandora can't cope well in every circumstance. Different amounts of light between photos, particularly when your photos include sky or water, make it difficult to create a consistent picture. This is most notable when shooting toward the sun. Moving subjects, such as cars or people, can result in the occurrence of ghosted images. Cityscapes containing a lot of right angles can emerge imperfectly when the angle of each photo is not perfect. Finally, if the source photos are not ideal, your results won't be either. A fixed tripod or at least holding the camera close to you with your elbows against your body gives a standard height and angle that can make your photos much easier to line up. The better your source photos, the less effort you need to use in making your panoramas fantastic.
As with most things, you can find tutorials and hints on creating panoramas on the Net. By using Pandora, it's possible for a rank amateur to come up with some great results, even with a limited knowledge of The GIMP and layers. The picture in Figure 4 shows a successful scene, where the sky and water tones are consistent and the edges are lined up.
Pandora is a small download from the Shallow Sky Web site: www.shallowsky.com/software/pandora.
Panoguide is the definitive resource for panoramic photos: www.panoguide.com.
Red Skies at Night (previously mentioned in LJ, April 2003) has some great GIMP tutorials for digital photography enthusiasts: cs.uhh.hawaii.edu/~jeschke/photography/articles/gimp/tutorials.shtml.
Andrew Burton (firstname.lastname@example.org) lives in Sydney, Australia, where there is plenty of inspiration for taking panoramic photos.