Plan Ahead with Polarizers & Panoramas
Just for sake of reference here. The polarizer works great. It gives us nice contrast and everything here, but the sky looks very fake and then here, everything's kinda faded, but the sky is more real. So, we're gonna take that up a notch. And here is a series of photos I took as a pano. Where I had the polarizer on. All right. So, we have a problem. This was one of those problems that sometimes we forget, sometimes it's really hard to see in camera. Can you guys see the sky, how it starts dipping down? So, the wider angle you go... The polarizer, remember, is gonna have the 90 degree effect. The sun's over here, 90 degrees worth of polarizer. It's gonna effect. So that's that cone, that area. Everything else, it starts to spread out from. So, I had my polarizer on for this, which I think works because I like the crispness of everything else inside of it but my sky is gonna be a problem. So, let's go ahead, shift click, select all our photos and we'll go to Photo Merge, Panorama. Cool ...
thing about Lightroom's pano is that it actually creates a preview pretty quick. 'Cause that is 436 megapixel images. If I brought that into Photoshop, we'd be sitting here for 10 minutes. So, there's our pano, I'm just gonna hit merge. I'm happy with it. And now we can wait for 10 minutes. No, it won't take that long. But, what you're gonna see in our final image is you're gonna see that sky and you're gonna see this big, blue dip that goes across the middle of it. So, we've gotta figure out something that we can do to kind of counteract that because we want the effects of the polarizer and I suppose, if I had the foresight, when I was on the tripod, I could have, like, taken two photos, two photos, two photos, two photos, if I had that foresight. I did not. This is something that's actually hard to see in the camera. You won't notice it until after. But, so that's the photo. Okay. You know, if I did any quick Lightroom editing, take your brush, I'll use the haze killer. Should come up with a different name, like haze be gone. Haze away. All right, so, let's see if it did anything, before, after, yeah, so, kinda snapped in a little bit there. But that's about all I would do in Lightroom. If those were Raw photos, like, I didn't do anything else. I don't think I have to. We're gonna take it into Photoshop and here's where the magic's gonna happen. So, I'm first gonna crop out that little branch on the right hand side 'cause it doesn't need to be there. So let's grab our crop tool. Oh, you know what? Here. I'll crop, crop. Have you guys seen this little trick? If I don't wanna crop out the top area, see that little top sliver? If I don't wanna crop that out... And we'll crop out the... We'll do that later. I can go and I can take my quick selection tool... Oh, too much. Let's go to the magic wand tool. I can click on that with my magic wand tool and it will select all of it, okay. At step one, if I just adjust this now, I'm gonna have a line. 'Cause the selection is too precise. So what I do is I tell Photoshop to grow the selection by Expand, by just two pixels. So just expanded it a little bit into the new sky, into the sky that's there and then what you do is you go to Edit, Fill, Content Aware, click OK. And it will fill all those little areas in. Some day.
It always amazes me how well it does.
Yes, it's a neat feature. Remind me, oh there we go. So see? So I didn't have to crop it all out. What we're gonna do before we move on though is, this is 16,000 pixels wide and it's gonna slow Photoshop down to a crawl. So, I'm gonna resize it a little bit. But it's still big. It's still, I mean, that's not even zoomed in yet. There we go. So now, let's take care of our sky. I'm gonna take my quick selection tool, just like I did before. You guys already know, we selected trees, we selected everything known to man with this thing, so I'm not, just in the interests of time, I'm just gonna go through and be pretty sloppy with it. I'm not gonna do the whole refine edge. If it can select trees it can select this just fine. So I got a selection. Here's what I do. I'm gonna go take my eye dropper tool and I'm gonna click once down in the lighter area and then I'm gonna hold down my Option or Alt key, 'cause you see it sets my foreground color to that blue? I hold down my Option or Alt key, and I'm gonna click up here in a darker area and that set my background color. So I set my foreground and my background to two different colors. And so to counteract this, I'll just make a new layer, take my gradient tool and I'm just gonna drag upward or downward. And you can finesse it. But I basically just took the colors of the sky to replace them with and I got rid of the polarizer going across. So, that was before, after. And you can sample wherever you want. I didn't sample from here, 'cause that's the fake blue. That's the blue that we don't want. So that's why I sampled generally from over in this direction. So, if you ever see that, whether it's a pano or not, it'll happen with a 16 to 35. It'll happen with a 24 to 70 lens. You shoot wide angle with a polarizer on, you're gonna get that dip. So you don't have to wait to do a pano to use that technique. You can do it on any sky where you happen to see that dip going through it.