Skip to main content

photo & video

Photographing Panoramas for Large Prints

Lesson 7 of 30

Shooting Vertical Panoramas

Mike Hagen

Photographing Panoramas for Large Prints

Mike Hagen

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2000+ more >

Lesson Info

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.

Lesson Info

Shooting Vertical Panoramas

Let's talk about the next one, which is shooting vertically. You know, panoramas don't have to be just horizontal. You can also think of panoramas as vertical, you know trees, buildings, and in this case, some industrial seams, so let's look at how to create vertical panoramas. So I wanna talk about vertical panoramas. You know we've been talking all day about horizontal panoramas and those are very natural and common but there's a whole other world of projecting your images vertically so imagine a vertical print on your wall a vertical strip. And that's what I wanna show here. The techniques that we're gonna use are basically the same as the techniques that we use for horizontal, but we just have a couple of other things to think about. One of those things is, when you do your vertical panorama you still wanna fill the frame with interesting content. So as you do it you might not wanna use like a really wide angle lens, you know, so for example, for this rusty tank here if I was reall...

y close to it, and I used a wide angle lens, the base of the panorama's gonna be filled with the rusty tank, but then as I tilt the camera up because of key stoning, that tank's gonna go like this and the top of that vertical panorama's not gonna be very interesting visually. So therefore I'm actually back a little bit farther and I have my long lens here so I've got my 70 to 200 mm lens and I'm about 120 mm on the focal length. The next thing I'm gonna do is I'm gonna shoot with the camera horizontal and again, I'm doing that so I can maximize the number of pixels that I'm projecting on the scene. You know I could shoot it vertically, but I'd get fewer pixels over all. So horizontal, depth of field, I'm at about F8 here, I don't have to worry too much about this, the depth of field control because I'm a fair distance away from the scene. And then I'm just watching the exposure I'm just gonna pay attention that my highlights don't blow out for those clouds in the background. Alright so here we go, I'm gonna set this shot up. I'm gonna take one sample shot here, aimed up kinda towards the sky, and I'm gonna look at the back of my camera on the highlight screen, and just make sure I haven't blown anything out, actually I have blown some stuff out, so I'll drop my exposure down by about two thirds, about -.7, take another shot. Beautiful no highlights so I'm gonna lock that exposure and now I'm gonna make sure my focus is set, and I'm ready to go so I'm gonna start down low and then take the photos as we go up. Alright, again I'm gonna include more of the foreground or the grass just to give me some room to work with in post processing, and shot number one, here's two, three, and as I go up one of the things I noticed was, I've got some power lines in this, coming into this scene, so I need to be thinking about how I'm gonna process that in Photoshop, do I wanna clone that stuff out, is it important, so we'll assess that later on once I get to step back to the computer. Alright last, second to last shot, I'm at the very top and I'm gonna take, again, one more beyond it, even though I probably won't need it as just an insurance policy just to make sure I've got enough room to work with in Photoshop. Well I was all excited to take that photo because you know we were standing in front of that tank it was all rusty, it was towering over us and it felt like impressive, and then here's the result so I'm not real pleased with the final result you know more of a technique instruction here, but vertical panoramas really need to be just as interesting as horizontal panoramas so, my one tip for you is don't shoot rusty tanks. Maybe (chuckling) maybe space needles or Columbia towers, or that type of thing might be more interesting. But the techniques I used for horizontal, they still apply for vertical. You know I shot my camera in a horizontal format and I did that so that I maximized the number of pixels that I'm using for the scene, and then the other technique that I really wanna keep impressing upon you is metering and exposure. I found the area in the photograph that had the most complicated exposure and I used that segment of the panorama, to lock my exposure, so I didn't blow up the highlights in that segment and then everything else, I say, let everything else fall where it may. And once it falls where it may then I can pull out shadow detail later on in software.

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.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Panorama Checklist & Gearlist

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


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!