Photographing Panoramas for Large Prints

Lesson 15 of 30

Developing Images in Lightroom

 

Photographing Panoramas for Large Prints

Lesson 15 of 30

Developing Images in Lightroom

 

Lesson Info

Developing Images in Lightroom

Developing the images. So I use Lightroom and Photoshop together. But really, I use Lightroom as the base of my operation. So Lightroom is really my hub. It's where I start. I work on the images there, you know, I do the keywording and labeling. I develop them there, so I make 'em look pretty. And then I also process them there for output. So processing might include panorama merging, it might include printing, it might include web production. So I can do everything in Lightroom, or I can also start in Lightroom and then go out to Photoshop, do stuff in Photoshop, and then come back to Lightroom. So where do I make that distinction? Difficult photos, you know, photos that need a lot of pixel work, like fixing skies or fixing dust, or blemishes on people's faces in the panorama, whatever. Anytime I have to do lots of heavy lifting, I'll send it off to Photoshop, because Photoshop is much better suited for those scenarios. So I'm gonna start here with developing the images in Lightroom. ...

Now, we'll go up here to earlier in the day. Actually, I'm gonna go to filter. So this is another cool thing about Lightroom. I'm gonna click, down here on the bottom, my red and green filter. And I'm just gonna look at my red photos, or my selects from the day. So we'll go up and pick... Let's pick before... Here we go, we'll pick this one. So this photo group was one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10. So this sequence here was 10 photos. And if I just show you them away from everything else, those are the images that we're going to work on. So it's a pretty high contrast, the light is relatively flat, so I wanna show you how we work on these image to pull out detail. Light matters, you know, the time of day really matters, but if you're in a location, you gotta take the photo, let's learn how to fix it, and make it mo' better. Okay, so now, I'm going to go to the develop pane that's here at the top. So I'm in library, we're going to develop. So I start there. And you'll notice I selected those images as a group, because whatever I do on one image, I'm going to propagate that, or synchronize that, across all the images in my panorama sequence. That's important, because you want everything from exposure, to white balance, to shadows, to highlights, you want everything to be equal on every single image. The next thing I do is, in that sequence of 10 photos, I find the most difficult one. I find the one that's got the highest contrast. You know, with the brightest clouds and the darkest shadows. This one looks good, right there. So that's in the middle of the sequence. Now I'm going to start working on it. So I'm over here on the right-hand side of my develop pane. The first section here is called basic, and we spend a lot of time in basic, but before I do the basic stuff, I'm actually gonna go down to lens profile and fix the lens corrections. I use a full-frame camera. Actually, I use a variety of cameras, but the one I used for this shoot was a Nikon D800, and then I have an older 70 to 200mm lens. And that older lens actually vignettes just a little bit around the corners. And so when you do panoramas, you don't want vignetting on each of the images. 'Cause imaging merging them all together: vignette, vignette, vignette, vignette. And it looks really funky in the final merge. So I actually enable the profile correction right there. And what that does is it helps reduce vignetting in the corners of all the images. And then finally, the last one I do down here is I remove chromatic aberration. Any time you're photographing a scene where you have something dark, like maybe a tree branch, against something bright, like the sky, you run the risk of getting chromatic aberration around those edges. You get this purple, or magenta, or green fringing. This magenta or green fringing. So almost always remove the chromatic aberration. Alright, so that's the first step. Now we're gonna go back up here to the top. We're going to open up the histogram that's here at the very top, just so I can see what I've got. And it looks like, with the histogram, I've got a little bit of gap, or a little bit of space here on the right-hand side, which means I haven't blown out my highlights completely. That's great, because that means I've got detail on those clouds. Okay. Now I'm gonna scroll into the basic area, and I generally work from the top down. The first one that we work with is white balance. It says temperature. White balance lets us adjust the color temperature of the scene. I know that it was a sunny day, and I need to set the color temperature so that it matches the scene of that day. So I know sunny is around 5500, 5400 Kelvin, so something around there. Now exposure. I decide, overall, do I need to make the photo brighter or darker. In this case, I'm gonna reduce the brightness just a little bit, so I can get some of that highlight detail back. Maybe right there. So I'm at -0.45. I never work with contrast. I shouldn't say never, but very rarely do we work with contrast. I consider it a blunt tool. It's a really, It's like hitting your photo with a baseball bat, because it just moves the entire histogram out or in. There's more sophisticated, better ways we can do that. Like, for example, the highlight slider. So I move highlights down. And you can see as I do this, I'm pushing detail back in the clouds. Sometimes I have to go all the way to the left, and that's fine. Lightroom, especially new version, CC, allows us to get away with a lot with the highlights and shadow slider. Next, I need to pull out shadow detail in those buildings, so I'm going to move that up a little bit. If I have some really bright white stuff that I need to recover, then I will work with the whites and blacks, but for this photo I'm fine. And then I go to clarity. I almost always add some clarity back in. Somewhere between 25 and 50 tends to make sense. And then vibrance. Vibrance is the smart editor's saturation. Saturation is ugly. Watch what happens when I move saturation up. Saturation just makes your photo look garish. So in general, I don't recommend using saturation. Use vibrance, because it actually saturates secondary colors. It's a smart saturation tool. Cool. So there we go. I've just processed that one photo. And for this example, because I'm gonna move a little bit fast here, I'm just gonna say that's good. I'm gonna click, down here, I'm gonna click the synchronization button. Pow. Up here, then, it says what do you wanna synchronize?. Typically I wanna synchronize the global adjustments. I don't wanna synchronize local things like brush tools. I don't even wanna synchronize cropping, because I just want the global stuff. White balance, saturation, or vibrance, and all of those global settings. So here we go. I'm gonna click synchronize, and as I do it, you'll see down along the bottom each of those images change as they update. Alright, cool. So that was the first kinda step and segue into developing your images in Lightroom. Let's take another sequence. And I'm just gonna move faster this time. Let's take something a little bit later in the day. Let's go down to right here. Yeah, this was a really pretty time of day. So again, I'm gonna select all of 'em. The way that I do that, I'll just do that one more time, is I click on the first one, then I hold down my shift key and I click on the last one. And now they're all selected. Now I'm going to go into the develop pane, and I will start on the most difficult image, maybe that one right there, and I'll start working on it. Okay. So you can see, I've already moved the sliders around, but for the sake of this discussion, I'm gonna hit reset, just so you can see what this looked like right out of the camera. So I'm gonna click reset and sync, and now I'm gonna synchronize everything so all the photos in the sequence are just as they were out of the camera. You see, waiting a little bit longer in the day for the light to get lower in the sky really made a difference in the look of the photo. And these photos, by themselves, are almost ready to go. Almost ready to print. So light, time of day, it all matters. So let's go back and edit that photo that I discussed earlier. So there we go. First thing is, go down to the lens profile. Where did that go? Lens correction. So I'm going to enable the profile. Watch the upper right hand corner when I do that. Ready, set, click. And it got rid of that vignetting. Remove chromatic aberration. Now I'll go back up to the top and start working on the image. That building is pretty bright, so I'm gonna reduce the highlights a little bit. Shadows up a little bit. And then a little bit of clarity, and of course, a little bit of vibrance. And you can see that the vibrance brings back some of that local contrast. This is a good point in time to mention another contrast improvement tool. I know we're gonna get questions about this from the audience in internet land, so let me talk about this real quick. It's down here. It's called dehaze, and it's in the effects area. Dehaze is very effective at reducing atmospheric haze. We get a lot of that here in Seattle, so anytime that the buildings look hazy and don't have a lot of contrast, I'm just gonna move the dehaze slider up a little bit. And by the way, a little bit goes a long ways, so we're talking, like, five. Plus five. Sometimes, watch what happens if I go too high. If I go to the 60's and 70's, it almost looks gothic. Which you may like, you know. You might like it. Black eyeliner, dark hair. Cool. I'm all about that. But for this photo, not so much. So I'm gonna go plus five. There we go. Little bit of dehaze. The next thing I like to do is I like to do a before and after. And the way that I do that is I type the backslash button on my keyboard. It's above your enter button, or your enter key, or your return key. So I'm gonna hit that backslash button. Here's the before. And there's the after. You see a little bit of that lens profile, a little bit of the contrast addition. You see those clouds in the sky really start to pop. Fantastic. And now, it's, oops, I lost my connection to my lower images, so I'm gonna reselect those lower images from down here. And I'm also going to hold down the command key, or the control key, and select these guys on this side. Okay. And now it's time to synchronize, so I click sync. And once I do that, you'll see all of those changes propagate across the images.

Class Description

AFTER THIS CLASS YOU’LL BE ABLE TO:

  • 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

ABOUT MIKE’S CLASS:

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.

WHO THIS CLASS IS FOR:

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

SOFTWARE USED:
Adobe Lightroom Classic CC 2016, Adobe Photoshop CC 2015.5

Lessons

  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.

Reviews

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!