1) Rule of the Thirds. Yes. It's the basic rule. Leave that out only when you are comfortable in breaking the rule.
2) Have leading lines into the photo to give it depth. What's the point if it just one that looks like a layer cake? FLAT!!!
3) Have either interesting subjects inside that captivate the imagination of the viewer.
A simple panorama but the colors and the humans in the picture makes one feel that you are there. You can see the ROT being used and the walkway leads into a feeling of depth.
This is a 360 deg view that was shot in Sutera Harbour in Kota Kinabalu The day was really bright and the sun was shining directly on to the lens. I added a ND filter before shooting this. you will notice some wavy feel in this picture as I rotated the picture wrongly.
Being new in Panorama photography then, I rotated the camera via the tripod mount. This is so wrong. I was wondering why it was wavy and the horizon is not straight. (BTW, that what my 2nd take. The first take was done handheld and it worst) I had the camera already on tripod and I had check the level before taking yet I got this wavy feeling.. What went wrong?
So it was time for Mr Google to help. I found that rotation must be done at the Nodal point. What is this NODAL point? It's the point that Light enters the camera Some call it the cardinal point.
Then WHERE is this point? Simple. The front element of you camera lens!!! That's where the light enters the camera. All you need to do is to rotate using that and it's going to give you the maximum ease in stitching and if you keep your camera straight from end to end, it will have very limited distortion.
This is shot with the Olympus xz-1 and the place is Melaka river. I had no tripod with me, so it was just a box and a pillar.
Another shot that I used a pillar as my support. this is almost a 180 deg shot. Place, Pearl River in Guangzhou. I shot this at the time of the Asean games. Camera used is the Olympus E-PL1 with a Lumix 20/1.7
More on this to come in later updates.