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Photographing Panoramas for Large Prints

Lesson 28 of 30

Best Practices for Printing your Image at a Lab


Photographing Panoramas for Large Prints

Lesson 28 of 30

Best Practices for Printing your Image at a Lab


Lesson Info

Best Practices for Printing your Image at a Lab

And you can get great prints at the lab. And I do all the time. I actually probably print 80-90% of my photos at the laboratory. When I want the really great images, I will actually do them on an inkjet printer. So let's talk about lab printing and preparing for the lab. Let's go to the presentation, 'cause I think I have some notes there in the presentation. The things that you need to know about printing somewhere else are the color space they're using, the type of paper they're using, and maybe even doing a little bit of soft-proofing, just to make sure everything goes okay. So what I do is I actually work with my labs. I actually talk to them. I call 'em on the phone, and I say, "Hey, tell me about your printer system." And they'll say, "Oh, we have the Fuji Frontiers." Or they'll say, "You know what, "we're printing on Epson inkjet printers." I'm like, "Oh, that's so helpful, thank you." "Hey also, would you guys tell me "what color space are you using?" And they might say, "You k...

now what, send 'em over in Adobe RGB." I'm like, "Fantastic." I get that, I understand it, and when I save my images out, I'm gonna save them as Adobe RGB. Or, like Costco, they'll say, "sRGB, that's our color space." So you gotta know what color space your lab is using. When in doubt, just use sRGB. Okay, that's kinda the global standard, the lowest common denominator. Okay, if the monitor is calibrated, your monitor looks good, you know if your greens are green and your reds are red, you shouldn't even have to worry about what you're sending to the lab. As long as what you see on your monitor is calibrated, then your lab's gonna produce a print that looks good. And that's what that lady, that example I mentioned earlier, that's what she didn't do. She didn't have a calibrated monitor. She was using a monitor that she had never calibrated, so her purple looked way different than what the lab's purple did. So really, printing at the lab is easy, as long as you calibrate. In fact, I don't even worry about soft-proofing anymore for lab prints. I just look at 'em on my calibrated EIZO, and if it looks good, (snaps) off it goes. Upload it to their website, print it out. And then, output or export your images, as JPGs in sRGB space. Most of my lab prints go out as JPGs and I'm happy with that. I'm fine with that. Some labs will actually make their profiles publicly available, so this here is from AdoramaPix. They do great work. So I went to their website, and I found all of their paper and their profiles. So this is a little thing on their website. You click on these and you actually download the profiles to your computer and then you load 'em into the color profile area, and then you can look at them. And you're soft-proofing and say is this gonna match. So you can see that Audorama uses the Kodak stuff, Kodak paper, and it's all very good paper. Some of the labs that I recommend, Costco. You know, I showed you that giant print over there earlier today, that was a Costco print. You can do great work at Costco. AudoramaPix, very professional, good stuff, high-end. Mpix and Millers, they're part of the same general operation, they do very good stuff. They sell a few smaller panoramas. White House Custom Color, WHCC, very good, professional-level printing there. And then also You know, honestly, if you use any of these five companies, you're gonna come out with good results. I think the key mostly is just to talk to them, and understand what they're using and work with them. Like I said earlier, they want you to produce beautiful work. They want people standing around your prints at home saying, "Where did you print that?" Send 'em our way, get 'em over here. So, printing at the lab. Let's see, what else do I need to show about printing at the lab? Maybe just do a quick export here on one sample image just to show you what that might look like. So, we'll take this one. We haven't worked on that one yet today. So I am now going to right click, and then I'm going to choose export. And then I could use one of my presets, which I already have set up. Like, you can see down here, it says, preset which is big, JPG, sRGB, sub-folder, add, so that tells me everything I need to know about that. It's gonna be a full-size, full-resolution image as a JPG in sRGB color space. But most of you don't have presets already, so let me show you how to do that. Go to export, and we go through this process again. I showed it once earlier, but I'll show it again 'cause now it's relevant. Where do you want that exported image to go? I'll just say in the same folder as the original. Do you wanna put it in a sub-folder? You know what, I do. Someone asked earlier how I managed these, and sometimes in Lightroom, I actually create a sub-folder for my prints, so I'll call it Full Resolution JPG, so that's the sub-folder's name. Add it to the catalog. Do I wanna rename it? No. File settings, JPG; color space, it's gonna go to Costco, or it's gonna go to AudoramaPix, so we'll do sRGB; quality, 100%. You know, these are gonna be big prints, so don't try to compress to save space. You know, use your internet for what it's worth. You pay good money for high bandwidth, use it. So 100 on the quality. Do you wanna resize it? In this case, no. I want it to go out to my lab in full resolution, so no resizing. You know, I could predetermine what resolution in terms of pixels per inch, but that really doesn't matter. All that matters is that they're getting all the pixels that I created. Do I wanna do some sharpening? Again, this is where you need to get on the phone. "Hey laboratory, tell me about your sharpening process? "Should I sharpen beforehand, "or do you guys do the sharpening?" Some labs will say, "Don't sharpen, "we do it, we know our system." And I'm like, cool, you guys handle the sharpening. For this example, I will sharpen, though. Watermark and post-processing, so we don't need any of those. And now I click export and it now will put that image out in full resolution. See in the upper left of Lightroom, it's exporting that file. And when that lil' white bar gets over to the end, I will have the brand new JPG in a sub-folder called Full Resolution JPGs. There it is and now we're ready to go. I'm going to now upload it to that printer's server on the web, and they'll make a print for me.

Class Description


  • Shoot a variety of 360 degree panoramas (skylines, landscapes, vertical and horizontal) with the final print in mind
  • Stitch your images together to create a panorama with Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom
  • Print large images to sell or display in your home


From the skylines of New York and Los Angeles to Switzerland's mountainous backdrop, some scenes are just too spectacular to fit inside a 3:2 frame. Being surrounded by and immersed in a beautiful vista is part of the joy of being a photographer -- but how do you capture what it feels like to stand there in person inside a single image? Panoramas capture that feeling of wonder and squeeze it into the limited form of a two-dimensional print.

Take the experience of seeing a magnificent vista or panoramic view home with you. Join Mike Hagen, director of the Nikonians Academy, and learn his techniques for mastering the art of the panorama, without a dedicated panoramic camera. In this class, he will teach you:

Learn everything you need to make a breathtaking panorama from capturing that spectacular view to hanging the panorama above your couch. Shoot dynamic panoramas in the field that fit together easily when stitched in post-processing. Stitch them together with an eye for printing. Get your color toning right to minimize your reprints, and learn how printing can help you notice things that you may miss when the image is in digital format.


Adventure, travel and landscape photographers looking to improve their final product, make it print-worthy and potentially sell their work.

Adobe Lightroom Classic CC 2016, Adobe Photoshop CC 2015.5


Join photographer, author, and educator Mike Hagen on the journey to perfect the panorama. Hagen has taught hundreds of workshops spanning topics from landscapes to using flash, all while running Visual Adventures and working with the Nikonians Academy. The USA-based photographer has led destination workshops from America-based destinations to bucket-list international locations like Iceland, the Galapagos, and Italy. Hagen is known for his humorous teaching style while presenting complex topics in an easy-to-grasp lesson.


  1. Class introduction

    A print is tangible evidence of an experience, as Hagen says, but that doesn't discredit the process of actually taking the shots, editing the images and, yes, finally getting that print. In the first lesson, Hagen walks photographers through what to expect for the class from packing the right gear to perfecting that final print.

  2. Field Techniques, Camera & Lens Choices

    Unlike film, you don't need a specialized panoramic camera to create a digital panorama -- just something with some megapixel power. Don't assume that all panoramic views are captured with wide angle lenses, however. While the result is a wide field of view, Hagen explains when he shoots with a 14-24mm lens -- and when he shoots with a 70-200mm or even a 200 to 400mm lens. Discover the right gear for panoramas and why you don't necessarily need the most expensive lenses in this lesson.

  3. Selecting Gear for Great Panormas

    The smaller accessories are often just as important when stitching multiple images together for those wide views. Hagen walks you through what tripods to use, along with time-saving accessories like a bowl head.

  4. Camera Menu Settings & Exposure

    Without the right camera settings, differences between images will create obvious stitch lines. Hagen walks photographers through the best settings for shooting panoramas.

  5. Troubleshooting Environmental Obstacles

    Panoramas are often captured while traveling when there isn't an option to wait for the best weather. This lesson looks at what to do when there are obstacles in the shot, from bad weather to objects in the way of the shot.

  6. What Contributes to a Great Panorama

    Can you really capture a great wide view without really knowing what makes a great panorama? Learn what makes a great panoramic image and what mistakes to avoid.

  7. Shooting Vertical Panoramas

    There's no rule saying panoramas are all horizontal wide views. Sometimes, a vertical panorama is a better fit for the scene. Vertical panoramas present new challenges, however, with lens and perspective distortion. Here, Hagen shows photographers how to minimize those distortions for great vertical panoramas.

  8. Shooting Techniques for Black & White Panoramas

    If you start creating a black and white panorama in the editing stage, you're not going to get the best result. Learn how to properly expose and shoot a panorama with monochrome in mind.

  9. Handheld Technique for beginners

    Do you really need to spend hundreds on a fancy tripod set-up? What about when that visual spectacle isn't tripod-friendly? Tripods are helpful, but not always a must. Here, Hagen shoots on site with a tripod-free technique for panoramas.

  10. Tripod Technique for Intermediate Photographers

    Got a tripod, but maybe not the fanciest panorama gear? Walk through the process of shooting with mid-level gear for more than mid-level results.

  11. Advanced Technique for Panoramas

    Using the best gear, like a panoramic gimbal head? See a real-world shoot using high-end gear for photographers that shoot frequent wide view panoramas and learn advanced techniques for avoiding parallax issues.

  12. Navigating Moving Subjects in Panoramas

    Movement in panoramas creates tricky scenarios -- and can even make a person or moving object appear in your image more than once. While most panorama tutorials will tell you just to avoid moving subjects, Hagen walks through his approach for freezing a moving subject inside a panorama.

  13. How Time of Day Impacts Panoramas

    Light plays a big role in every image, and without flash as an option, planning the shoot for the best natural light is essential. In this real-world shoot, Hagen walks you through how he prepares to find the best light in the scene.

  14. Workflow in Lightroom

    By this point in the class, you have several, separate images -- this is where you learn how to assemble those images into panoramic views, starting by organizing all those files. Using Lightroom, Hagen walks through his post-processing workflow.

  15. Developing Images in Lightroom

    Once photos are uploaded, culled and arranged, development is next. Hagen walks through Lightroom techniques for editing before the stitch and easy methods for keeping images in the same panorama consistent.

  16. Merging Images

    Assembling those separate images together happens in Lightroom through the merge tool -- learn the basics as well as tricks for correcting panorama errors with tools like the Boundary Warp.

  17. Finishing Techniques

    The work isn't quite finished after the stitch. Learn how Hagen continues to fine-tune panoramas, from retouching the sky while leaving the lower portion untouched to removing dust spots.

  18. Saving Images for Print

    If you own your own printer, you can print directly from Lightroom -- but you can still get great prints without investing in a printer. Hagen walks through the best parameters for exporting large panoramas for lab printing.

  19. Controlling Your Environment

    There's a big difference between viewing a photograph on a monitor and seeing it in print -- and to help create the print that has the colors that you're imagining on the screen, the environment matters. Here, Hagen talks about why you may want to paint your office neutral colors and why it's important to know where that final image will be hung.

  20. Profiling & Calibrating Your Monitor

    Monitor calibration is important but often overlooked essential to getting prints to look just as great as the colors on your screen. Watch the monitor calibration process and real time and find the best types of monitors for photo work.

  21. Wide Gamet Color Settings

    What color space is best for working with large, high-quality prints? Here, Hagen explains color spaces and when to use each one.

  22. Soft Proofing Images

    Printing errors are expensive when you're printing out wide view panoramas that measure in feet instead of inches. Soft proofing is a technique that can help you avoid those expensive printing errors.

  23. Selecting the Right Paper for Prints

    Paper choice matters. Hagen walks you through how paper choice influences the final image and what paper choices are best for different types of panoramic projects.

  24. Sharpening Images

    Sharpening polishes that final image before printing -- but do you use Lightroom's sharpening tools in the Develop module or the Print Sharpening tool? Hagen walks you through the best practices for sharpening a photo for printing.

  25. Printing with Lightroom

    Lightroom's print module helps prep images for print, but what do all the options mean, and what settings are best for panoramas? Hagen digs into Lightroom's print module in this lesson.

  26. Printing with Photoshop

    Photoshop is another option to print panoramas from -- but a lot can go wrong here. Hagen walks through troubleshooting prints from Photoshop.

  27. Black & White Printing

    Editing and printing for black and white is an entirely different ballgame from color. Learn how to edit a black and white panorama in Lightroom, followed by, of course, printing.

  28. Best Practices for Printing your Image at a Lab

    You don't have to own a high-end printer to get great prints -- and in fact, Hagen himself sends a majority of his images to a lab. But how do you know what color space to use, and what lab is best for printing panoramas?

  29. Analyzing & Displaying the Print

    Getting great prints is about more than color calibration and proper print settings -- the room the image will be hanging in matters too, particularly the ambient lighting. Hagen takes students through the process of analyzing the print and prepping for the final display.

  30. Reviewing Panoramas Printed in Class

    Through this class, you've walked through the panorama process from gear to shoot to print. In the final lesson, take a look at the results of the images created during the course, from the classic Seattle shot in the United States to black and white 360 panoramas of France or Ireland.


Fred Morton

Get it, get it and get it. I bought Mike's Speedlight course and this is on the list after watching it on line. The course design by Mike with the Creative Live staff is a successful blend of content and presentation. I absolutely loved how Mike took us on location for several shoots, where we could see the setup and problems that he had to resolve. This is a must have course for photographers interested in landscape work. Another powerful part of this class is Mike's willingness to demonstrate and show us what didn't work. The practical experience in his course was just like being in the field with Mike.

user a5f3c6

Mike combines two characteristics of a great teacher: he's obviously knowledgable and competent about his subject matter and he's relaxed and confident in how he presents his ideas. This class covers everything I need to know about photographing and printing panoramas. But, it is much more. It is a class that shows the essential skills involved in shooting, post-processing, and printing photographs and how to apply them to a specific application: panoramas. I learned a lot! Thanks, Mike.

Sue Sirius

This workshop was terrific! I learned so much about taking, processing and printing panoramas (and photos in general). I found the presentation very easy to follow with great examples and instructions. Highly recommend this!