No, that is not an oxymoron. In fact, vertical panoramas are quite common. Most of us think of panoramas as wide views of spectacular landscapes, but they can be wide, or high, or just large and detailed images. Vertical panoramas have the nice advantage of fitting well into web pages as you can see here.
The panorama here is of a huge tulip poplar tree at McDaniel Farm Park in Duluth, Georgia, just starting to leaf out this spring. This image was composed of twelve individual photos.
So how does one make a vertical panorama?
The technique is the same as for a “normal”, horizontal, panorama. You start by taking overlapping pictures of the subject. I like to overlap quite generously so I don’t accidentally come up short. Here is one of the photos that make up this composite.
You can see the others by clicking on the photo (above), the link leads you to my Photosynth of the set.
To make a composite set use Windows Live Photo Gallery. Select the image thumbnails you want to combine, click the Create tab then Panorama. The photos do not need to be in order, they do need to overlap. There is no need to tell Live Photo Gallery what kind of composite you want, it analyzes the images and combines them in the correct way. The panorama at the right was made that way and then cropped.
My favorite tool for complex composites is Microsoft Image Composite Editor. Click on the photo at right to see the uncropped output from “ICE” – also as a Photosynth.
I have already illustrated one way to show of a large composite with Photosynth. There is another way I like using Zoom.it:
The zoomit image is based on the WLPG panorama made as a full resolution JPG (100% quality setting). This made the image 48.4 MB – close to the SkyDrive upload limit of 50 MB. The image size is 4534 pixels wide by 11639 pixels high (this includes the black areas illustrating how the photos overlap).