The basic theory behind panoramic photography is to capture a scene as appears when you turn your head by 360 degrees.
Panoramas vary by type, cylindrical or spherical. A cylinder is best likened to a person turning ones head on their shoulder and capturing what you see into a single image. A sphere is the same except that you also tilt your head up and down while rotating.
The result can be represented in a number of ways;
- a flat 'ironed out' cylinder or sphere
- a QuickTime VR movie which allows you to turn the camera as if you were turning your head on site.
Techniques in capturing a panoramic images vary.
- several rectinlinear or fisheye images may be combined 'stitched' to make up one
- special panoramic cameras may be be employed
- parabolic mirrors are also used to capture a scene in a single shot