No-Parallax Point and Creating Panoramas in Lightroom CC

Alresford Creek, Essex

I have struggled a bit to understand about the no-parallax point and the part it plays in panoramic photographs. I understand that parallax can easily be seen by holding up a finger, looking at it through one eye and then through the other eye causes it to apparently move in relation to the background. This is because the entrance to each of of our pupils is in a slightly different position. This parallax will have an effect when taking photographs that are to be stitched together to form a panorama and I need to be careful not to have objects in the foreground change position against the background. I can do this by keeping the entrance to the lens in the same place while I turn the camera.

There is lots of science and minute measurements to help photographers find the no-parallax point for their particular camera and lens. The PanoTools Wiki has a useful chart that lists the entrance pupil distance for a range of cameras and lenses. JohnHPanos also has a useful guide that talks about how to find the no-parallax point for an SLR camera.

To help further there are a number of manual and motorised tri-pod heads that can be purchased from the usual photographic outlets, some that are even controlled from a smart phone. However as a poor student I cannot afford any of them! I have been using a simple bracket that holds my camera slightly back so that the front of the lens is close to the centre of the head of the tripod.

Having said all of that, the software that is currently available to automatically merge photographs together is so good that any parallax is hardly noticeable.

Today I have been out taking a few local panoramas to see if I can spot any parallax errors when my photographs are merged together.

With tripod extension
Without parallax bracket

Without tripod extension
With parallax bracket

I have used the Photo Merge / Panorama option in Lightroom to create these panoramas. It is very straight-forward to do and fun to mess about with it but there is also a very useful tutorial about how to create panoramas in Lightroom on the Adobe website that explains the process I have used very clearly.

I can’t honestly see an awful lot of difference in the two images above. Some of the clouds in the first image look as though they have been cut off as they appear to have some harsh flat edges but when I zoom in on my computer they are not as unnatural as they appear on here.

While I was at it I have merged one of the panoramas several times using the different options available in Lightroom.

With parallax bracket, spherical photo merge
With parallax bracket, spherical photo merge

With parallax bracket, cylindrical photo merge
With parallax bracket, cylindrical photo merge

With parallax bracket, perspective photo merge
With parallax bracket, perspective photo merge

Adobe suggests that the spherical setting is best for 360 degree panoramas, the cylindrical setting is best for very wide panoramas and the perspective setting is best for shorter panoramas.

I like the cylindrical setting for this particular shot.

Alresford Creek, EssexThese are another couple of shots I took this morning and the edited photo of the ford. I’ve left them in colour as the sky and daffodils look great after the past few stormy days.

St Peter's Church, Alresford, Essex

St Peter's Church Yard, Alresford, Essex

The Ford, Alresford Creek, Essex