Learning panarama photographs with a DSLR camera is fairly easy, but there are a couple things you need to do to get professional quality panaramas.

The most important thing in panarama photography is to make sure the exposure doesn't change from one side of the panarama to the other. The lighting from one side to the other is almost always very different, so your DSLR is going to meter them differently. You'll want to meter for what will be the center of the panarama and keep that setting for each photograph. The two ways to do that are by pressing the shutter button half way and then pressing the auto exposure lock button or just look at the settings and switch to manual mode and set them there.  

Another important thing to consider is that for a panarama software to merge multiple photographs there needs to be an overlap between the photographs. The overlap needs to be about 20% of the photograph so that the software can recognize distinct objects in the photographs so that the photographs can be placed in the right order and properly aligned.   

The image below is a 12 photograph panarama. The middle of the scene was metered and then the DSLR was switched to manual mode so that all photographs were taken with the same exposure.

Below are two photographs that were part of the merged panarama above. Notice that there is an overlap to make it easy for the photography software to align the panarama properly.

The image below shows how bad a multiple photograph panarama can come out if you don't lock the exposure or use the manual mode. Each photograph was metered individually resulting in a wide range of dark and light photographs.  

The panarama images you normally see merge images from side to side, but that's not all you can do. In the image below you see a panarama that was created by nine photographs stacked side to side and on top and below each other. This creates a photograph similar to one through a fisheye lens so that makes it a cool technique if you like that look and don't have a fisheye lens.

Below is a panarama of Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
Below is a panarama of the crowd for the finals of the 2012 US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach, Ca.
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