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A Timesaving Pano Trick

When you come back in from your shoot, if your shoot included some panos, you’re going to quickly find out one of the hidden challenges of shooting panos: finding them. For example, when you open your images in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, or Adobe Bridge, or in iPhoto, etc., you’re looking at thumbnails of perhaps hundreds of images from your shoot, and it’s a bit of a challenge to figure out where your panos start and end. In fact, numerous times I’ve been looking through thumbnails from a shoot, and I look at a shot and think, “What was I thinking when I took this one?” Only to find out later it was one frame from a 10-frame pano. Worse yet, if I’m shooting on vacation, it might be a week or more before I get home to look at the images, and I completely forget that there’s even a pano included in a particular shoot, because they just don’t jump out at you. Luckily, there’s a simple trick that makes finding your panos a two-second job: Before you shoot the first frame of your pano, hold your finger up in front of your lens and take a shot (as you see in the first frame above). Now start shooting your pano. Once you finish shooting the last shot of your pano, hold two fingers in front of the camera and take another shot (as seen in the last frame). Now, when you’re looking at your photos in a photo browser and you see one finger in your shot, you know there’s a pano starting there. So, select all the photos that appear between your one-finger shot and your two-finger shot—that’s your pano. Open those in Photoshop and let it stitch them together for you (we looked at this in Part 1 of this book series).

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