There’s something fascinating about what happens when you stitch together five or six (or more) landscape photos into one long, single image. It’s as close as you can get (with a photograph, anyway) to re-creating the experience of being there. However, when it comes to creating these panoramic images, it can be either a piece of cake or a huge nightmare, based almost entirely on how you shot the panorama in the first place. Do it right, and Photoshop will stitch the whole thing together for you with little or no input at all. Do it wrong, and you’ll be working your butt off for hours to try to get your pano together—while Photoshop mocks you every step of the way.
Shooting panoramas correctly is easy—you just have to follow the rules that ultimately make it easy to assemble the separate photos into one seamless image in Photoshop. I’ll cover the process with explicit steps so it’s simple to follow. Here we go!
First, a Few Rules
- Shoot your panorama on a tripod, as shown in Figure 1. If you don’t, you’ll pay.
- Shoot vertically (in portrait orientation) rather than horizontally (in landscape orientation). It’ll take more shots to cover the same area, but you’ll have less edge distortion and a better looking pano for your extra effort.
- Switch your camera’s white balance to Cloudy. If you leave it set to Auto, your white balance may (will) change between segments, which is bad, bad, bad.