When looking through the lens, it’s often impossible to do justice to the splendor of mother nature, which as a result, leaves me with so many unanswered questions…
One question in particular that comes to mind from time to time is…
“What aspect ratio will do justice when photographing this magnificent landscape?”
Now this question may sound like I’m being picky or pedantic, but it’s no secret that different types of subject matter lend themselves better to specific aspect ratios from the standard 3:2 rectangular to the 1:1 square or even 3:1 panoramic image.
When photographing with a digital SLR, I’d be the first to admit that I can get lazy and stuck looking at the world in a 3:2 aspect ratio.
But when I come across a scene that cries out and asks to be photographed as a panoramic, I like to think that I’m up to the challenge. (No pun intended…)
So the next question you might ask is…
What’s the easiest way to take multiple images and piece them together into a panoramic image that you can be proud of?
Well the answer to that question is Photoshop of course.
Photoshop makes it incredibly easy to stitch multiple images together to create a panorama from scratch and the best part is Adobe Photoshop CS5 does an amazing job that I honestly can’t fault, which can’t be said for older versions of the software.
In fact it does such a great job that you’ll almost never need to position your lens directly over its nodal point and that’s pretty impressive.
The process of capturing and creating a panorama is fairly straight forward as your about to find out:
1 ). Capture Series Of Overlapping Images
Start by capturing multiple images of the same scene using a tripod and making sure that they all overlap evenly and were shot using the same exposure settings.
2 ). Edit Images Within Camera Raw or Lightroom
Open and edit all images identically within Adobe’s Camera Raw.
Save all images with the same resolution, color profile working space and file format to ensure consistency.
Finally, open all of your saved images within Photoshop.
3 ). Open Photomerge In Photoshop
In Photoshop go to the main navigational menu and select… File / Automate / Photomerge…
Once the photomerge dialog window appears you’ll be asked to select and open all the images that go together to make up your panorama.
4 ). Select Layout Option
In the layout settings, select the type of panorama you’re creating. In most cases, you can get away with using the “auto” option, unless of course you know exactly what type of lens distortions are within your photographs.
Finally, make sure you have “Blend Images Together” checked and then choose whether or not you would like “Vignette Removal” and/or “Geometric Distortion Correction” applied. Then click “OK”.
5 ). Check For Imperfections
Double check the quality of the merge and look for any imperfections that may have occurred in the stitching process that require your attention to fix. In most cases you will need to view your image at 50-100 percent in order to located any problem areas.
6 ). Crop Image
One of the common problems you may face with your panorama is that your image maybe missing sections either top, bottom or on either side.
If this happens you have two options. Either crop your image tightly and work with what you’ve got or utilize Photoshop’s content-aware fill to fill in these areas.
(Please note that content-aware fill isn’t perfect, but it does give you a great starting point from which you can work from.)
I think you’d agree that the results speak for themselves… I hope you found this tutorial to be helpful and informative. If you have any further questions that I haven’t answered, please don’t hesitate to ask them in the comments below.
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