Five tricks for shooting eye-catching panoramas

Photojojo unveils its pro tips for shooting panoramic photos that are anything but the ordinary.

Lisbeth Ortega Special to CNET
Lisbeth Ortega is head editor at photography newsletter and shop Photojojo. She hatches, collects, and shares all the best original DIY photo projects and gee-I-didn't-know-that photo tips to help keep your creativity on its toes.
Lisbeth Ortega
3 min read

Editors' note: This guest post is part of a five-part series on Photojojo's best photography tips. Check out the rest of Photojojo's tips here.

Maybe your phone has a built-in panorama feature, or perhaps you downloaded a panorama app on the recommendation of a friend. You've tried it once or twice, but after the initial excitement, it just hasn't stuck.

Well, there's more to squeeze out of your phone's pano-capturing chops. With a little thinking outside the box (as panoramas do so well), even places you pass everyday suddenly look so much more interesting.

And don't wait 'til your next vacation -- there's no need for a breathtaking backdrop to shoot an eye-catching panorama.

Lisbeth Ortega/Photojojo

1. Stitching many panoramas into one
If one 270-degree panorama gives you one big beautiful photo, what do five (or more) give you? A panoramic super photo! Thanks to our pal Heather Champ for this tip!

Use Auto Stitch to stitch multiple iPhone panoramas together quickly and seamlessly. A similar app for Androiders is PanoStitch .

Just shoot a few overlapping panoramas, port the photos into the app, and watch as the photos are stitched together into one huge panorama.

2. The camera toss
This idea's borrowed from brave photographers who threw their DSLRs up into the air to get a quick-and-dirty aerial photo.

Dubbed "glitching," you can combine this technique with panoramas and to get a trail of your camera's path for a weird and fun capture. Of course, if you'd rather not launch your phone into the air, a fast sweeping motion can achieve a similar effect.

Check out Photojojo's complete guide to panorama glitching for tips on how to play with this method.

3. Vertical panoramas
Horizontal panoramas are fun, but vertical is a whole new kind of fun. Now you can fit tall buildings, redwoods, or Ferris wheels into one epic frame.

Try shooting vertically with a 360 panorama app to get a fun view of the sky and ground all in one seamless snap. It'll take a little bending on your part, but the final photo is worth the stretch.

4. Fun with cloning
Because panorama apps let you guide what you capture in every part of a panorama, there's room for changing up parts of your scene before it gets photographed.

Imagine a horizontal panorama where a friend (or your pup!) shows up multiple times across the scene. Sounds difficult, but all it takes is a little running around on your friend's part.

Sharon Vaknin/CNET

Have a friend stand in one part of your frame, capture them, and then have them move to another part of your scene to capture them again. You can repeat this as many times as you want until you reach the end of the panorama.

Flickr user Martin_Heigan

5. Make a "tiny planet"
"Tiny planets" are small spherical, 3D photos made from 360 panoramas. Once you've picked your location, try one of these two ways to make a tiny planet.

For a more DIY approach, use a 360 Panorama to shoot a panorama and then use Photoshop to warp it into a world of its own. This method requires a little more time (and a copy of Photoshop), but you'll be amazed at how you're able to turn just another panoramic photo into a whimsical little world. Get the step-by-step here.

For a one-step approach, download the Tiny Planet app to capture the panorama and automatically turn it into a planet right on your phone. No fuss, no Photoshop -- just an easy way to build a tiny planet in a pinch.

For more phoneography tips, check out Photojojo University. Whether it's DIY tutorials or can't-find-it-anywhere-else photo goodies at the Photojojo Store, Photojojo's on a mission to inspire and share the good word about the greatest photo stuff in the world.