If you are new to iPhoneography, you might have missed the awesome panoromic feature built-in to the camera on the iPhone running iOS 5 or greater. It allows you to capture breathtaking landscapes, large groups of friends or family and other photos not possible with a standard camera. In fact, this is software you won’t even find on your standard point and shoot camera. Here’s how to take a panorama photos on iPhone and let your creativity soar to new levels.
In order to take panoramic pictures, you will need either an iPhone 4S or iPhone 5. First thing you’ll want to do is access the camera app. You can do this by unlocking the iPhone and tapping on the camera app. A shortcut is to press the power button and swipe up from the camera icon that appears in the lockscreen, just to the right of ‘slide to unlock’.
Within the Camera app, tap on the Options at the top and then select ‘Panorama’. The lens will close and magically reopen in panormic mode. In the middle of the screen is the frame of your soon to be panorama photo with an arrow and a tip to “Move iPhone continuously when taking a panorama.” You must hold your iPhone in portrait mode or vertically when taking the photo.
Before you start, position your camera at the point where you are going to start your image. If you would like to shoot your panorama in the opposite direction, simply tap on the arrow. The iPhone will shift the arrow and the starting position of your photo, so you’ll want to position your phone at the furthest point right of your shot. If you are taking photos of a group, position your iPhone so you leave a small amount of space to the edge of your photo.
Once you are ready to shoot, hold your hand steady and press the camera’s shutter button icon. Slowly move your iPhone in the direction of the arrow, but be careful not to shift the camera up or down as this will adversely affect your results.
Tip: If you move your hands up or down, the arrow will go off the center line. Your goal is to keep the arrow on that line throughout the shot.
You’d be amazed at how much you can capture and in some cases, you’ll need to complete your photo before the iPhone’s camera reaches the end of the line. To finish the shot, press the ‘Done’ button. Tap on the ‘Camera Roll’ at the bottom right to review your photo.
Tip: As you can see in this photo, my hand was not as steady as I would have liked. A safe bet when taking photos is to keep shooting. This increases the likelihood that you’ll get that perfect shot.
The camera on the iPhone can produce amazing photos. Using software, Apple is able to extend the picture taking capabilities beyond a standard point and shoot camera. The Panorama feature is a hidden gem that when mastered will allow you to capture stunning landscapes and group photos that were never possible on most point and shoot cameras.
Editorial Note: Due to the iPad mini and iPad having only a 5 megapixel camera, Apple has not included the panorama feature at this time on iPads.