adjective; (of a machine or device) worked by hand, not automatically or electronically.
noun; an unbroken view of the whole region surrounding an observer.
In these modern times, there are many ways to create a panoramic image. Many digital cameras have a panorama feature built in, including cell-phone cameras. Photoshop has a “Photomerge” feature that allows you to easily take any series of photos and combine them into a panorama. However, very frequently panoramas are a very wide strip of horizon that show a fair amount of lateral information, but don’t necessarily show “an unbroken view of the whole region surrounding an observer.” So, every once in a while I like to take the time to make a manual panorama.
When manually placing and distorting images in Photoshop, you can start to build a suggestion of dimension within a flat image.
Manually creating a panorama requires you to make decisions about what you want to present as important within the image. Photo color and exposure can be adjusted and layered in a certain order to create a hierarchy of elements within the image (ie foreground vs background, shadow vs highlight, etc.).
The density of placed images can make a sense of importance within the panorama. Also, excluding parts of the panorama can be just as effective.
Distortion is inevitable, but again helps you to illustrate what you think is important (and should not be distorted) and what is unimportant (and can be skewed or covered up).
If done very carefully, manual panoramas can give a viewer an idea of what it is like to be in the image.
You can even use this technique to illustrate where the viewer is standing within the image.
If you have the patience and the time, try making your own Manual Panorama! (or whatever other name you know this technique by)
Try not to get lost in the pixels though… It is a challenge…