Deke’s Techniques: Creating a flawless panorama

Published by | Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

This week, Deke broadens your horizons with his helpful tips for creating a seamless panorama. Although the Photomerge process in Photoshop is not particularly difficult to use, shooting good images to go into the merged panorama takes some thought. Working carefully will give you the best results, despite the automatic nature of the processing. For instance, worry less about locking down your settings or using a tripod, and more about your feet and framing the shot all the way through. Deke also has some tips for using Photomerge as well. Ultimately, Deke shows you how to seamlessly stitch together photos shot from the Accademia Bridge in Venice that will make you feel like you’re gliding down the Grand Canal.

And what do you think of Deke’s observation about the current trend against photo stitching— lining up the individual photos that would normally go into a panorama, but leaving them in separate frames? For instance, do you prefer modern tetraptych (yes, I had to look that word up) in the upper image below, or the classic panorama in the lower image? I may be a helpless romantic when it comes to Venezia, but for me, it’s the image below that evokes my nostalgia for standing on the Ponte dell’Accademia in one of the most magical cities in the world. And isn’t that what a panorama is supposed to inspire?

Join us again next week for another free video technique. As usual, lynda.com members can check out the entire collection in the Online Training Library® (which includes some exclusive members-only video). See you next week!

Related links:
Deke’s Techniques
courses on Photoshop in the Online Training Library®
courses by Deke McClelland in the Online Training Library®

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3 Responses to “Deke’s Techniques: Creating a flawless panorama”

  1. leo says:

    You’re the man!!!

  2. esthezia says:

    This is fantastic, Deke! I’m a big fan of yours!

    I just have one question, please: if my camera supports taking panoramic pictures, should I use this feature or the Photomerge feature in Photoshop?
    Of course, using photomerge one can take landscape pictures and merge them together, having a taller picture with more detail. But other than that, what’s your opinion on using camera’s panoramic feature (or my phone’s app for taking panoramas) ?

    Thanks a lot!

  3. @esthezia That’s a good question. When I posed it to Deke, he (quite practically) said, “Well, if you’re going to take a picture with your phone, then I’d probably use the phone to process it.” It’s certainly fun to create panoramas on the fly.

    Of course, your limitations would be orientation and resolution. Since you inspired this quest for me, I also hit up my colleague Jim Heid (the Content Manager for our Photography segment) on his thoughts:

    “As a panorama addict myself, my own advice would be this: I’m pretty sure many cameras’ pano features require you to hold the camera in landscape orientation. But you can get a wider vertical field of view in your panorama by shooting the originals in portrait orientation. So if your scene is “vertically interesting” — maybe there are interesting rocks in the foreground or tall trees or buildings in the scene — you might prefer to shoot the source images in vertical orientation and then use Photoshop to stitch them.

    Also, some cameras’ pano modes limit the number of photos you can use — for example, three horizontal shots. If your cam is among them and you want to capture a wider scene, then Photoshop is your tool of choice.”

    The one agreement all around is that the phone-based panorama apps are fun and fairly amazing!

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