I got into making panoramas a long time before most people. I still miss my QTVR Authoring Studio software that Apple did not support well. I miss my precision engineered 0-360 degree OneShot lens (accidentally broken along with a Nikon camera at Christmas 2008).
Yet over time the ability of cell phone cameras and software to enable me (and millions of others) to take panoramas made up for that. I really appreciate the camera and photography capabilities of my WindowsPhone Lumia 1020, but alas it's panorama stitching capabilities do not handle handheld photography (standing in one spot turning taking dozens of photos while trying to keep the camera location fixed) well at all.
This becomes sadly apparent in beach/horizon photos, among my favorite subjects. Often the horizon will appear as a square waveform if even one picture is processed by the software a few pixels above where it should be.
I do appreciate my iPhone 4S camera app for its ability to fairly seamlessly stitch together a panorama, but it is not a full 360 degrees. Some other apps do offer good options though.
So, in this particular case, the stunning colors of the sky on Fire above the beach at my home on Long Island (left of the photo) and the glowing red horizon showing Fire Island (and a near full moon on the right of the picture) were due to the awesome camera on the WindowsPhone Lumia. But, I did have to manually cut/move/paste some of the horizon parts to make them straight, in Photoshop.
It took effort to make the horizon (almost) straight since I am not a Photoshop guru. Nor do I have the time to compensate for the fact that these were all taken standing on sloping sand turning around in a full circle. Making the horizon a perfect straight line on both sides to align on the left and right is something I would love to do (and process this photo into a pixel accurately aligned real Quicktime virtual reality immersive experience) but alas, lack of time means I can only share the magic of this moment in a straight flat but, you will agree, stunning image.
Here's to software getting better faster than any hopes of my photography skills!