How to create an AWESOME panorama using PHOTOMERGE in photoshop

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I have travelled to some amazing places.

I have recently had some time to go through some images from my trip to Italy….to be more specific….Lake Como…

Beautiful. Stunning. Inspiring…

I took a series of images from the ferry on the way to Gravedona – a beautiful town on the northern shores of Lake Como.

How do you shoot for a stitched image?

Use a tripod. In this case I was in holiday mode – so no tripod 🙂

Always shoot in PORTRAIT orientation – This will give you a taller panorama and allow more room for cropping.

My BEST tip? Take a pic of your hand BEFORE AND AFTER your series of images. This makes it so much easier when editing in Lightroom, I clearly know which images I want to use for my stitched panorama.

Shooting from the left, overlap your images by approximately 40% – {this didn’t happen in this case, the ferry was moving too fast!}

Keep your APERTURE constant for the entire series of images.  This will ensure the DEPTH OF FIELD is consistent in the final panorama. Also make sure your FOCAL LENGTH is the same for each image – {All the images were shot at f13 at 105mm focal length.}

I like to shoot a stitch in MANUALmode. Take a few test shots to determine correct exposure. Here are my 5 images.

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How did I edit this image?

I loaded all the raw images into LIGHTROOM.

HIGHLIGHT all the images for your panorama in Lightroom – click on the first image, hold down the SHIFT key, and click on the last image.

Click ‘CONTROL E’ which will open all the images up in photoshop {I’m using CS5.}

In Photoshop, click on ‘FILE’ then ‘AUTOMATE’ then ‘PHOTOMERGE.’ 

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This screen will open up.

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Click on ‘ADD OPEN FILES.’

‘AUTO‘ is the default button selected on the left. I use this function most of the time. You can experiment with the others for optimum results. Click ‘OKAY’ and watch your panorama stitch together before your eyes.

You’ll end up seeing a version of your panorama that looks something like this.

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When Photomerge finishes,, you will have a single panorama with each image on a separate layer.

Zoom into 100% and check the seams between the images. If everything looks OK, FLATTEN the image by going into the LAYERS menu and clicking ‘FLATTEN IMAGE.’

Crop a rectangular composition of your stitched panorama. This is where shooting ‘VERTICALLY’ really makes a difference. You have a lot more room to ‘CROP.’

And there you have it, a FANTASTIC large panorama of your series of images.

Make any adjustments you like to your final image. I always add some contrast and some vibrance.

In this case I also had to muck around with the ‘lake’…and the different tones.

Please be aware these files are usually HUGE…and may take up a bit more storage room than usual.

So, next time you’re out shooting and can’t fit everything in the frame, consider shooting a SERIES of images to create an awesome panorama 🙂

happy clicking

Chris

 

Photo of the day….Varenna – La Perla di Lago

I photographed so many amazing places on my recent trip to Italy.

There were so many beautiful villages on Lake Como..

Varenna is on the east side of the lake and has a population of just under 1000.

I could look at this photo all day.

The colours of the houses, the mountains behind and the beautiful colour of the lake in the foreground.

Imagine what it would be like to live somewhere like this? A slow paced life with beauty all around you….

Have a great weekend everyone 🙂

Remember to click on the photo to enlarge it.

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Hotel La Darsena – Lake Como, Italy…Fantastico!!

We were greeted by a very good looking Italian man…hmmm….

“Welcome to Hotel La Darsena” he said.

This was the start of an extraordinary week on the shores on beautiful Lake Como, Italy.

I had picked ‘Hotel La Darsena’ in Tremezzo off the internet as it was the only hotel on Lake Como situated over the lake with a balcony so we could admire an uninterrupted view. :)

Hotel La Darsena is a 9 room boutique hotel that is a family owned and run business.

Tiziano and Ezio run this business along with their wives Mirina and Mariangela with a friendly, personal touch and a strong sense of Italian pride.

Our check in was swift and efficient and our rooms were fantastic!

On the website I had seen two rooms at either end of the hotel that had two balconies {one at the front and another bigger verandah at the side} so I had specifically asked for them when booking.

Wow, was all I could say when I opened the door to our room.

Tastefully decorated in modern Italian style, this spacious room had a king size bed, lots of cupboard space, a large recently renewed modern bathroom with a spa, and of course the beautiful balconies to enjoy the view.

Breakfast was included in the tarrif. Each morning downstairs in the restaurant, a huge array of Italian delicacies were laid out in buffet style. We enjoyed Italian cheeses, fruit salad, prosciutto, ham, eggs, yoghurt and cereals with coffee that was to die for!!

The restaurant is also open for dinner each night. It stands alone as one of the best restaurants on Lake Como. The food was superb and each time we were given a table overlooking the lake. The view was only topped by the originality and the quality of the food. Marcello the chef and his team provided great service and all the meals were reasonably priced.

Hotel La Darsena is situated on the western side of Lake Como. There is a ferry stop and bus stop 2 minutes up the road, car parking is provided for guests and there is an array of other fantastic restaurants within 5 minutes walk from the hotel. I would highly recommend it as a great base to explore Lake Como and all it has to offer. Tremezzo has a real ‘village’ feel and is a lot quieter and less ‘touristy’ than Bellagio.

Maria and all the front desk staff are locals and know the area really well. Nothing was ever a problem, each morning we were quickly and efficiently provided with all the information we needed for our days adventure.

Each evening we would have drinks on our balcony and stare in wonder at the magic of the lake and the magnificent mountains that surround it.

The lake certainly weaved its magic on us…but the hospitality, warmth and standard of service at Hotel La Darsena made our stay there unforgettable.

If you’re planning to visit Lake Como, and want a great place to stay, visit www.hotelladarsena.it for more information.

Don’t forget to click on the photos to enlarge them.

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Planes, trains, automobiles and…..ferries

To get around (or across) Lake Como there were two options – Driving. Hmmm. Or catching the Ferry.

On Lake Como I found the batelli the easiest way to get from one side of the lake to the other.

The local ferries are a quick and efficient way to travel between the villages and towns dotted around the lake.

I loved being out on the water and was able to admire some of the smaller villages, whilst relaxing and gazing in awe at the spectacular mountains all around me!

Residents going to and from work, cyclists and tourists all line up at the many ferry wharfs around the lake to board the ferries every day.

There are slow ferries, rapido ferries and ferries that look like they are from days gone by 🙂

You can even use the traghetti (car ferry) to transport your car between one side of the lake and the other!

We never had to wait too long for a ferry, although none of the services we caught coordinated with the timetable 🙂

They were definitely running on Italian time……

Have you been to Lake Como?

Don’t forget to click on the photos to enlarge them.

Please feel free to contact me in the comments section below or on Facebook , twitter  or pinterest.

 

A magical place….early morning on Lake Como, Italy

Hi everyone,

Im finally back at my desk. For those of you that don’t know I’ve just spent 5 weeks away in Italy, France and the UK. 🙂

It was fantastic. All my senses were filled with beautiful views, food that was to die for, warm friendly people and the wonderful sound of the Italian and French languages spoken all around me.

My camera was also in overload…I took LOTS of photos. I seriously mean LOTS. 🙂

I wanted to show you a view of Lake Como taken from my balcony on our first morning just as the Lake was starting to come to life.

What a truly magical place…

Remember to click on the photo to enlarge it….

Please feel free to contact me in the comments section below or on Facebook , twitter  or pinterest.