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Photographing Panoramas for Large Prints

Lesson 23 of 30

Selecting the Right Paper for Prints


Photographing Panoramas for Large Prints

Lesson 23 of 30

Selecting the Right Paper for Prints


Lesson Info

Selecting the Right Paper for Prints

Well, the last thing I want to cover, I wanted to talk about printing paper, paper choices, paper option, so to do this, let's head back to the keynote presentation, and let's talk about paper options; there are a ton of options, so to do this segment, guys, I think I'm going to stand up and walk around, I'm going to show a print, here, show a couple of different scenarios for printing, so the first thing is, is that there are, traditionally, there's three traditional paper types; there's the glossy paper, and actually, I don't think I have real glossy paper here, in the room today. But when we have glossy, a lot of times you can get reflections, so what I'm trying to show, here, to the camera, is there's sometimes reflections off of the lights; glossy, you got to be really careful with the ambient light in the room, are there windows behind? Are there bright lamps in the room? Glossy can really detract from the viewing experience; the next one is a matte paper, and this is more like a...

matte, matte is cool, because it doesn't show your fingerprints, as much, and as much as we try not to get fingerprints on our prints, we always do, so I like matte, because it holds up a little bit better in the long run, and then we also have the luster, satin and semi gloss, so I'm going to walk over here to our actual Epson printer; this is the semi gloss that we've been using today, and it's very similar to the matte, but it's maybe a hybrid, between a glossy and a matte paper. I really like this semi gloss; I think it has a nice color to it, it does reflect a little bit of light, but that's okay, just make sure you're viewing where you're going to end up putting these on the wall, that that viewing are doesn't have a lot of backlight behind it. Well, the next category of paper is the fine art paper, and let me grab this, here, and I'll walk back over towards the TV (paper rustling) this, we printed on that big Epson that we were showing earlier today, that giant Epson, and this is a fine art paper, it's smooth, there's no gloss to it, it's even got a little bit of texture, so these sometimes aren't as bright and vibrant; the colors, sometimes are a little bit more muted, I know these are different images, but you can see there's maybe less contrast, overall, a little more of a painterly feel, a painterly effect, so when I'm feeling artsy-fartsy, I oftentimes go with a little bit more of this type of paper, so we've got rag, rag actually has a lot of texture to it, a smooth, fine art, which is what this is, watercolor paper, and then canvas. Oh, man, I love printing on canvas; canvas, for some reason, for me, I like that texture, we've already talked about how panoramas can be immersive for the viewer, but I think canvas panoramas are even more immersive, because you see all this texture on the surface, and it just makes you want to look in there and explore; there's a bunch of different styles of papers, too, today, we've been using roll paper, and roll paper works really well for panoramas, because not all panoramas are exactly the same aspect ratio; by aspect ratio, I mean width to height ratio, so roll paper makes a lot of sense for panos; you also have precut paper, you can buy precut paper like these, here, these are little panoramas that I've made, and a lot of this stuff comes in these precut; this is a four inch by 12 inch, or something like that, these precut papers, and then we've also got sheet feed, so you can buy pre manufactured, 8 1/2 by 11 letter size, or 20 inch by 30 inch, so sheet paper. And then the last one is, there's a lot of different brands, and most of the paper these days, it's hard to find bad paper; I mean, if you buy something online from a sketchy source, you might find some bad paper, but any of these brands are going to produce excellent, excellent paper; we're really in a golden era of paper availability, and stuff from Epson and Canon, Hahnemule, I really like Hahnemule paper, the Ilford stuff, they make some really great black and white paper, and then Kodak, most of the labs that you'll print at are using Kodak paper, and Moab is another paper company, here in the United States, they ship worldwide, but I've used paper from all of these companies, and all of them produce excellent quality results. So today, we're using an off brand paper; I've already forgotten the name of it, but you guys saw it when I did the paper profile, and we bought that from an online retailer that you all know and love, and it cost a little bit less than the higher end brands, but you can see, the prints are beautiful. What impact does an image sharp detail or a more diffused look have on your choice of paper style? Ooh, love that question, really great question; okay, so (sighs) well, let's use this one; I took this in Iceland, this is in the Westman Islands, I took this, maybe two years ago, and this one has a ton of detail, I mean, all of these buildings and houses, if you get up close to this print, you just see all of this incredible detail, so I want a paper that's going to resolve that detail, so I don't want to use something like a rag, or maybe even a canvas, meh, canvas is right on the edge, but I wouldn't use something like a rag or more of like a watercolor, because a lot of times with those, the ink that falls on the paper, tends to move around after the droplets have impacted, so if I want something with a lot of detail, either your fine art paper needs to be able to show it, like this one does, or something like a glossy or a matte, those will work just fine, so usually the brighter, shinier papers resolve more than the softer, muted papers. Alright, a quick one from Photo Travel Tips, do you know if there are profiles for printing onto metallic, aluminum, for metal prints? Okay, yes, there are, so to be fully honest with my answer, I haven't made a lot of metal prints, I think I made one, and I didn't even worry about the profile, and the reason why, is because I'm calibrated on my monitor, so I know my monitor, what I see there is what the industry standard is going to be, and I know that that metal print that's going to come out, they're also going to be calibrated, so I know I'm going to get close, but the better way to answer his question is go to that company's website, wherever you're making that print, so let's say you're going to, or even Costco, you know, almost anyone who has online printing, they have a website, and you can go there, you can track down their profiles, and then you can download those profiles onto your computer system. So I don't know exactly if metal prints have that option, because I've never downloaded them, but I have to assume they do, and if they don't, just literally call them on the phone, I mean, they want to help you get great prints; every printing company in the world wants your magnificent print, in your living room, and they want people standing around it going, "ooh, aah, where did you print this?" So they are going to help you do everything they can with your profiles.

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!