Panoramic Photography with Drones

I've been trying to learn and utilize the panoramic photography capability of my drone.  This feature has the UAV hover in place and take 34 photos in rapid succession with the camera pointed at varying angles and directions.  The photos are then "stitched together" in an application such as Adobe Lightroom or DJI Media Maker.  The stiching process takes about 15 - 30 minutes on my computer, and the finished product is a large file that has elements from each of the 34 photos.

Here is an example of a combined file:

Panoramic of Horseshoe Curve, Altoona, PA.  Given the U-shaped subject, this is probably one of the most interesting places in America to shoot panoramic photos!  Fortunately, it is only about 10 miles from my house.

This file is huge, coming out at 22888 x 8624 pixels and about 65 MBs.  To post it on Facebook, I had to adjust the photo size so that it had an aspect ratio is 2:1, meaning the file should be exactly twice as wide as it is high.  I first resized the photo to a more reasonable size (4000 pixels wide), but in order to maintain the original photo's aspect ratio, the height was shrunk down to 1507 pixels.  I needed the height to be exactly 2000 pixels, so I opened the file in Photoshop and adjusted the canvas size so that the height was 2000 pixels (while maintaining the 4000 pixel length).  This left 493 pixels rows at the top of the image that were "blank", so I basically just cut and pasted some of the sky into the empty rows.  A less than perfect solution, and when the photo is viewed as an interactive pano, the top of the photo (or the top of the "globe") is exaggerated, but it really wasn't as big of a deal as I thought it might be.

The resulting Facebook post looks like this:

That looks good, but it took a fair amount of time to put together.  I did some further investigation and found Momento360.  This service allows you to create a free account and then directly upload stitched panoramic.  It then provides a sharable/embeddable link so that others can view.  Below is my original panoramic viewed within Momento360:

So, all in all, I think I learned a lot with this exercise.  I will likely be adding panoramic photography on my services page once I get a bit more practice.

If you have created panoramic photographs and have some tips or anything I missed, please post in the comments below!