A different approach to panoramic photos and noise reduction

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A different approach to panos and noise reduction

If you're like me, a specific image appears in your mind when you think about pano—or panoramic—photos, right? I envision an extra-wide photo of an expansive landscape that can't be composed in a single image. Typically, panos have very wide aspect ratios and cover a lot of ground.

Getting creative with panos

However, there is another use for taking bracketed photos to be stitched into a pano. As I explain in the video below, I once found myself photographing the amazing scenery at Arches National Park. While at the base of Balanced Rock, I realized that I did not have a wide-enough lens to get everything I wanted into the frame. It was also very windy at the time, and sand was blowing everywhere. As such, I didn't want to swap lenses because I had no doubt that some sand would fly onto the sensor and rear lens elements.

So, I got creative and took several vertical shots while panning from left to right. I also ensured a 20%-or-so overlap between photos because I knew that I'd be merging them together using Lightroom. This process allowed me to get the photo I envisioned with the bonus of having even more resolution to crop it as desired.

Using Topaz Photo AI to get rid of pano image noise

As I mention in the video above, I forgot to adjust my camera's ISO before taking these brackets, and the resulting images do have luminance noise, especially when you look at the sky area. Fortunately, I know that Topaz Photo AI does a fantastic job of removing noise, even when you use RAW files. On top of that, I also used the app's sharpen AI model to add some extra detail to the already texture-rich foreground, and the results were really impressive!

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