Week #40 – Panorama

By: Maggie Red

Mar 05 2013

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Focal Length:18mm
Shutter:1/0 sec

This is not a cop out post! While I may not have taken this photo this week, I did in fact put it together this afternoon.

I don’t remember exactly when I took the photographs associated with this panorama. I was driving back to Ocala from Gainesville and Paynes Prairie was particularly beautiful due to the incredibly blue sky and the super puffy clouds. So, like a good photographer, I pulled on over and snapped away! I even had my tripod, like a real enthusiast 🙂

Make your good panoramas better by doing this stuff:

  • Use a tripod – this way, your horizon will stay in the same place because your camera won’t tilt between shots
  • Use the manual setting – get a correct exposure by using the aperture priority and then switch to manual so that all your shots will be at the same exposure setting
  • Use your finger – when you’re ready to start shooting a series, put your finger in front of the lens and take a shot of it; then shoot the series, and when you’re finished, put your finger up again so you can see in your computer files where the panorama shots begin and end.
  • Use Photoshop – go to File, Automate, Photomerge, and then for best newbie results, choose Automate or Perspective; select your files to merge, hit “OK” and then DO NOTHING.

The last bit there is capitalized based on my own experience. I have a bit of an older laptop, a bit of an older version of Photoshop, and am working with very large RAW files. My computer has to think a whole lot to put them together and if I try to do anything while it is merging the files, Photoshop crashes and I have to start over. So no internet, no word documents, no photo browsing in the Windows Gallery – I don’t even move my mouse.

For panoramas with five to eight RAW files, it may take up to 5 minutes to get results.

For panoramas with 10 to 15 RAW files, it may take up to 30 minutes. Again, from experience.

But it’s worth it!

And now you have an awesome new cover photo for your Facebook because (let’s be honest) that is all panoramic photos are good for anymore. Sad, but true.

Happy merging!

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