This past two weeks I spent working for National Geographic and Lindblad onboard the Endeavour in the Galapagos Islands enhancing our guests photo expedition. The wildlife encounters were epic and our local Ecuadorean guides were fantastic. I was warned before the trip on the excessive amount of footage I would capture but had no idea of the volume.
Up at 5am most mornings and onshore by 6am due to darkness and National Park rules. On land, we stepped into a world like no other; animals without fear that have evolved into endemic species, stark landscapes that were formed by lava eons ago and incredible guides that truly know and love this place.
Of course I brought my quiver of multimedia tools to capture this environment; two DSLRs for still images, video and time-lapse and a GoPro for underwater footage and quirky time-lapses. Even with the gamut of tools; I found it frustrating not being able to capture the true sense of this place due to the vast landscapes. The solution…… my iPhone.
The panorama feature under Camera options was the best tool for the job and added a whole new level of creativity and FUN. The results were instantaneous and often hilarious.
It’s quite simple, you find a landscape that requires you to swivel your head 180˚ and then select the panorama feature under Camera Options on your iPhone (4s & 5). Find some willing guests to anchor the sides of your panorama while you slowly pan vertically left or right. About midway, you have the guests run to the other side and anchor that side of the photo for a “double exposures” panorama. Wa La…..it appears instantly as a jpg in your Photos and everyone gets a good laugh. Repeat again and again for continual laughter.
Five tips for shooting iPhone panoramas:
• Anchor the sides with a subject either people or an object.
• Portraits work best approximately fifteen feet away.
• Pan horizontally smooth and slow with the daylight at your back.
• You can stop the panorama at anytime by touching the camera button.
• Try shorter panoramas to change the height and width perspective.