Introduction: Panoramas in Photoshop

About: I'm a student currently at UW and am currently undecided on my major. One of my greatest passions and hobbies is photography which started with me taking my first photography class in high school. Another pass…

Sure you could use your Iphone or Samsung to do this, but sometimes the quality of a smartphone photo just isn't good enough, especially if you want a high quality panoramic. One that you could possibly print and mount. Or sometime you're out shooting photos and you simply don't have a lens to capture the full scene!

Many people don't know this, but you can make panoramas in photoshop. It's a very, very, very easy process, and photoshop does all of the work for you. Aside from basic editing all you basically just have to upload the photos. The hardest part is probably shooting the photos.

Things you need:

-A DSLR or Handheld Camera


-Some thing to a panoramic of

-Computer with Photoshop

Step 1: Taking the Photos

Taking the photos is probably the hardest part of this whole process. First find a nice spot to take the panoramic with even lighting. Beaches, and nature shots are really great for this. You can see the beach where I took my panoramic above. I always shoot in manual mode and recommend you do the same for this photo. You can shoot in automatic if you prefer automatic or don't have the option of manual mode.

1. Decide where the edges of your photo will be and how you want to frame the scene

2. Set up your tripod and your camera. Set up your tripod on level ground. The less your camera moves up and down, the better results you will get.

3. Look in the view finder, or your screen, and line up the left edge of the picture in your camera with where you want to start your panorama.

4. Take the photo

5. Move your camera along the X-axis to the right. Make sure to keep the camera stays flat as possible.

6. Keep looking at your screen/view finder and make sure there is a overlap with the last photo you took on the left side of the new photo.

7. Take photo and repeat steps 4-6 until you have taken the photos for the full length of the scene that you want to capture

NOTE!!!! Make sure to do this quickly as possible. The lighting in the photos has to remain consistent or else photoshop will split the panoramic into multiple panoramas instead of one seamless photo. That Is why I HIGHLY recommend doing the process above multiple times so you will get at least 1 set of photos with consistent lighting

Step 2: Making the Panorama

1. Find and either note the location and names or transfer the photos you want to merge for the panorama into a single folder from your SD card.

I recommend putting the files for one attempt of a panorama into a folder because it makes importing easier.

2. Open Photoshop

3. Go to File>Automate>Photo Merge in the tool bar up top

4. A window like the one shown above should pop up, hit Browse

5. Select either the folder or the file of the photos you want to use in your panorama

6. Select the layout you want for your photos on the left hand side, you could just always leave it as auto or mess experiment with it.

7. Click okay

8. Wait for photoshop. This bit can take a few minutes sometimes.

Step 3: The Merged Piece

If you took the photos right, the panorama should come out as one long piece. If you didn't take the photos quick enough and the lighting changed, then there will be segments of the panorama. Each segment will have different lighting conditions and therefore you will not be able to merge the photos into a seamless picture.

If you end up with multiple segments then close this panoramic jumble and start over with another set of photos from another attempt. Hopefully the next set will have consistent lighting and you will end up with one photo.

Step 4: The Editing

You will notice that the photo will not be perfectly rectangular. This is where you crop the photo to get rid of the rough edges.

You may also notice lines where the edges of the photos meet. For this you can simply use the bandage tool and drag it along the lines to get rid of the gaps.

once you have the steps up above completed click Layers>Merge Visible on the tool bar up top

Next you simply edit the photo however you want to make it look nice. Bump up the saturation, change the contrast, etc. Make it look nice

Step 5: Finished Product!!

That's all it takes. Simply save your photo as a .jpg and you now have a panoramic photo! This can be a great tool and trick for taking photos of a landscape scene when you simply don't have the right lens to capture it all.

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