I've been spending a lot of time lately going through the photographs I made this year, and I have discovered that I made many more panoramic compositions than I have in years past. For whatever reason, the panoramic format was top-of-mind nearly every time I found myself in the field. This doesn't mean that's all I was seeing, but panoramas made up a significant portion of what I have created this year.
As I'm writing this post, I'm reflecting on what may have led to seeing more panoramic compositions. The primary contributing factor was that two years ago, I began using the Fujifilm GFX medium format cameras, which have a panoramic crop mode built into the camera menu. This crop mode allows me to select an aspect ratio of 65:24, most popularly known as the 'X-Pan' format. The X-Pan was a unique camera that used 35mm film and could capture a panoramic image with an aspect ratio of 24x65mm.
The 65:24 aspect ratio crop in the Fujifilm GFX camera allows me to compose a scene through the viewfinder without having to imagine what it would look like if I cropped the image later. I will often shoot the scene as a single image, but I typically choose to photograph the scene by capturing multiple overlapping images that are then "stitched" together in Adobe Lightroom to create the final panoramic. The advantage of stitching the images together to create the final photograph is that the resulting image file is massive, with many photos ranging from 500 to 1,000 megapixels.
Once I began to fall in love with making panoramic photos, I started looking for more efficient ways to work with my camera in the field. This search led me to the Acratech Panoramic Head, which I have mounted on a leveling base. I'll write more about the Panoramic Head in a future post here on my journal as I realize this post is now getting to be much longer than I had initially planned.