Creating Panoramic Images

Today we are going to show you guys how to create really cool panoramic images! Maybe you want to shoot a really scenic shot of the venue or location of a wedding for the wedding album, or you want to create a panoramic canvas for your clients wall. If so, then this is how you do it!


We are going to show you an image that we actually shot yesterday at our in-camera: Light workshop (more images to come soon!) as an example.


What you will need: Camera to take awesome photos, Lightroom 3 or 4, Photoshop CS5 with your RAW plug-ins up to date

Step 1. Shoot the pano imagesYou have to shoot more than one image to create a true pano shot, and you do this by simply framing up your initial shot that you want, then panning the camera either right or left (or both) and taking another image. You can do this by hand and don’t need a tri-pod, as long as you stay on the general axis point that you started with.


First image that I wanted to use

Second image of the sky just next to our model I took by simply panning my camera to the right (make sure both images are close to the same plane, and make sure that they overlap each other a little bit)


As you can see in the above two images, there is a little bit of overlap of the sky on the right in image 1, and the left in image 2, which is needed later on to stitch them together seamlessly.


Step 2. Import Into Lightroom – Now that you have the images you need or want to stitch together, we are half way there! Simply import the images into Lightroom 4 (or 3 if you are still using it) and edit them the way you want. Then, select the two (or more) images that will be used for the panoramic shot and right click on them (on a PC).

This will open a dialog box that gives you many options for the images, and one of them says “Edit In” and you will want to hover over that one. This will give you further options for editing the images. Choose “Merge To Panorama in Photoshop.”

Once you do this, Lightroom may ask you if you want to “Edit A Copy with Lightroom Adjustments” and you want to do that, then click “Edit.”

Step 3. Create the Panorama in Photoshop CS5. The images will open in CS5 for you, and give you a few options to choose from for creating the Panorama. On the bottom left of the “Photomerge” dialog box that is now open, you want to select “Reposition.” Then select both of the images (control left click on a PC) that are in the center of the dialog box under “Source Files” and then click “OK.”

Now you wait!

Step 4. Crop or Content Aware – Once the merge is done, you will now have a seamless panoramic shot! If there is some space on the top and bottom of the image that is whited out (those are parts of the images that did not line up when you shot it) then you can either crop those out, or use the Content Aware feature of CS5 to clone them back in really fast (you can do that by flattening the image, then selecting the Spot Healing Brush Tool and running it over the areas that need fixing).

Step 5. Now just save the image – It will drop back into Lightroom right next to the original images and you will now have a really sweet panoramic image! You can put it on canvas or as a really cool full page spread in an album!


(Note. If you are using the new 5D Mark 3 camera, you need the LR4 4.1 Beta Update and the CS5 Raw 6.7 update from Adobe Labs to see the raw images for this to work).