Jan 02, 2015

How to Make a Panorama in Photoshop

Today’s episode is filled with goodies!  Not only do we show you how to create a panorama in photoshop, we also give you some expert tips on shooting those panoramic images.  David J. Crewe lends us his knowledge as we give you six amazing tips.  To top it all off, we have a gear article specially prepared to compliment today’s episode.  Now you can see the gear some of the pros are using, or just check out some budget options to get you started.

Tips From the Pros

Here are some tips for you when you’re out shooting panoramas:

1)  Use a sturdy Tripod and try to stay “level” when changing positions.

2)  Overshoot / Shoot wider than you need so you can crop safely.

3)  Use a longer lens (50mm or higher) since you’re stitching anyway.  Wider lenses give you more distortion so your images will be more realistic/normal with a longer lens.

4)  Shoot higher than F8.  Most time-lapser and pano shooters will swear by the F8 to F11 zones for clarity and sharpness.

5)  Manually Focus to make sure everything is the same (no shifts from frame to frame).

6)  Slow Shutter Speeds (or ND Filters) to reduce and eliminate distracting elements (people, animals, random motion).



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    Fritz Meyer

    I really enjoy your tutorials. Thanks for all that you do. How about talking about the Zone System and maybe hyperfocal distance photography?

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    I knew how to do panoramic photos but your extra tips on how to finish them off are new to me. Thanks.

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    Paul Lasky

    Hey Aaron: What does your action “Sharpen + 3” do ? Do you advise PS CC Smart Sharpen, or another option ? Or do you use the standard Hi-Pass technique of: 1) New Layer; Blend Mode: Linear Light or Vivid Light; 2) >Filter>Hi-Pass, radius ~ 4-12 px ?

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    Paul Lasky

    Also: Aaron do you shoot the Pano in horizontal or vertical aspect ? I have found that I always use vertical aspect forcing more overlapping images resulting in more final pixels in the image and more image. Also do you use a level to level the camera on the tripod to avoid “Parallax Distortion?”

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    Here is a pano that I did last November. I vouch for all of the tips provided! Other than the fact I could not get to the pier that is in the foreground of this photo, I think it worked out well! Thank you for the tutorials; my photography and retouching skill-set would not have grown as much as it did without you guys at Phlearn.

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    I enjoyed the tutorial, I’ve shot some panos that came out great, but on my last one I shot outdoors of mtns in CO, when PS stitched them together, it had a LOT of banding, I had everything set to manual. I *may* have had AWB on as that I was experimenting a little that day with it, but in LR I set the WB to all shots to be the same before sending them from LR to PS. Any suggestions?

    I was going to post the thing, but even with med. jpg the file is too large at 11mb.



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    Joe Borrello

    Very nice tutorial. I would add one other suggestion. If there are some nearby objects in the picture it can help to have the camera rotate at the “no parallax” point. For horizontal panning this is fairly easy to do with a focus rail. Mount the camera on your tripod with a focus rail, then adjust the position forward/backward until the no parallax point is at the pivot point. You can do this by looking at two nearby objects which are fairly separated but aligned with your line of sight. As you pan the camera back and forth their apparent relative position will stay the same if the pivot point is at the no parallax point.

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    Jeff Kingston

    Best Photoshop tutorials on the whole interweb 🙂 thanks Aaron and the family

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    Love it. I have been using photoshop to create some great panos for a few years now, and I wish I had seen this tutorial before. I could have made some good panos GREAT! Thanks Aaron.

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    mark me Error opening photomerge:
    error22: windows has not a constructor
    line 388

    What i do?

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    hi aaron,
    can you stitch 5 images taken horizontally from different points of view the same way you did here, or does it all depend on one camera spot looking into different directions and shooting frames of that.
    also I think it would be helpfull to see the individual shots that you stich, just once to give an idea what views they incorporated. other than that I am very happy with your telling the tricks in ps. keep it going! best daniel

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    Bob Slitzan

    I was really weirded out when I first saw this page. Here is a panorama I did over a year ago.