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Photographing Panoramas for Large Prints

Lesson 21 of 30

Wide Gamet Color Settings

Mike Hagen

Photographing Panoramas for Large Prints

Mike Hagen

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Lesson Info

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.

Lesson Info

Wide Gamet Color Settings

The next issue to cover is the color gamut, or the color space that we're working in. I've mentioned already a little bit today about SRGB and Adobe RGB, okay? In the camera, you can set up your color space inside of your camera's menu system. So whether or not you're a Canon user, or a Fuji user, or a Nikon user, the higher-end cameras allow you to choose the color space. If you're a JPEG shooter, if you predominantly shoot JPEGs, this really matters. So it's important if you're a JPEG shooter that you always choose Adobe RGB. Adobe captures the most colors and gives you the most color information. SRGB is a smaller color space, fewer colors. You collect actually fewer colors in the SRGB space. Why would we have the option? I mean, why wouldn't we just wanna always collect all the colors? Well, the issue really comes down to where you're going to print. A lot of laboratories will only print out in the SRGB color space. So if you print at maybe Adorama Pics, or Costco, on their commerc...

ial printing systems like their Fuji Frontiers, or their Noritsu printers, a lot of those are SRGB. So if you know that your starting point is SRGB, and your ending point's gonna be SRGB, then you can just choose in the camera to shoot SRGB in that whole workflow. It's called a color-managed workflow. Well for me, I actually print on inkjet printers. I also print at labs. So I want to start off with the most colors possible. So I start out in Adobe RGB color space. Little idiosyncrasy here for those of you who are raw shooters. If you shoot raw, then this is just a temporary tag. In a raw file, a raw file always collects all the color data. And it's not really 'til you get to your software that you finally choose which color space you're gonna work in. But given the chance, I'm gonna say always set your color space for your destination. That's really the main answer. And for me, my destination could be inkjet, it could be the labs, and so I choose Adobe RGB in the camera. So how about your software? Well, in your software, I recommend editing your photos in a big color space, like Adobe RGB, or even ProPhoto RGB. And I'll show this in a second. Lightroom only works in ProPhoto RGB. In other words, when you're seeing your images and when you're working on your images and you're moving your sliders, that's all in ProPhoto RGB. You have no ability to change or control or modify that. You just are. And what Lightroom does, this is gonna get a little bit technical here, though, for you. But what Lightroom does is, you're working with all of these colors in PhoPhoto RGB. Basically, all the colors that you as a human being can see, that's kinda ProPhoto land. Then what we have to do is, we have to convert all of those colors (pop) into a print. And so during that process, there's a conversion that happens there. That process may convert it to SRGB. Or maybe to your printer's color space. Your printer has actually a different color space. It's called the Epson P600 or P800 printer space, right? It's a different color space than Adobe. So it has to translate that data out. So that's a dangerous time. Because what you see in Lightroom may not actually be what you see from your printer. So I'm gonna show you in just a minute how to do this. It's called soft proofing. I'm gonna show you how to get a preview in Lightroom for what it's gonna look like in your print. It's called soft proofing. So Lightroom always operates in ProPhoto RGB. What about Photoshop? Well Photoshop, you actually have to go and set the color space. So I'm gonna show you how we do that now. We're going to go into, in Photoshop, we're gonna go into Edit menu, and then Color Settings. And we'll go, the keyboard shortcut there is CMD + Shift + K, and I'm gonna show you this screen in Photoshop. So, we'll fire up Photoshop here. Alright, here we go. Photoshop. And in Photoshop, basically, we're going to go to Color Settings. So we go Edit, and then Color Settings. Or again, Shift + CMD + K. So there's three, basically three main segments we need to work with. The first one is this one here, it's called Working Spaces. The second area down here is called Color Management Policies. And then we have the conversion options. Remember I talked about converting from the big color space and converting out into a different color space. So how do you want that conversion process to be managed? So let's start off with working spaces. As photographers, as digital photographers, we are primarily concerned with RGB, red, green, blue, the RGB color space. So if you go over here to the RGB pulldown menu, you'll see a huge variety of color spaces to choose from. The ones that we're most interested in are either Adobe RGB, ProPhoto RGB, or SRGB, okay? Since most of my work is either on inkjet printers or at the laboratory, I tend to just default my workspace to Adobe RGB in Photoshop. For those of you who do a lot of printing and are getting fairly technical in your printing skill sets, I would recommend ProPhoto. But only go to ProPhoto if you understand this process of soft proofing and conversion. Because sometimes, you get into a problem with ProPhoto. You're actually working on colors that you can't print 'cause your printer won't actually be able to output them. So for here, I'm just gonna say Adobe RGB. Don't worry about CNYK. CNYK is for anyone who's doing like, pre-press work for like the books that I've written, that's all CNYK printing. Let your actual printer, the company who's doing the printing, let them do the color stuff for that. And don't worry so much about gray or spot. Grayscale workspace, choose dot gain of 20%, that's fine. And then spot, you can also choose 20%. But we don't really have to worry about those too much. Alright, color management policies. This is, how do you want Photoshop to manage the colors when a new image comes into the software? So let's say I'm working in Lightroom. So if you can remember back a few minutes, I said that Lightroom always works in ProPhoto. So when I go from Lightroom, which is ProPhoto RGB, and I bring it into Photoshop, how do I want Photoshop to manage that? Well for RGB, I want it to convert to the working RGB. What's that? Well, that's Adobe. The working RGB space in Photoshop is Adobe RGB. So I'm gonna say, take it from ProPhoto, bring it into Adobe. Alternatively, I could say, no, go ahead and keep the embedded profile, which is ProPhoto, if that's where I started. So anything from any other software coming into Photoshop, this is how it's gonna manage it. So I'm just gonna say convert to the working space. And the same thing goes for CNYK and grayscale. Convert to the working gray. Here. This is, I think this is an important section. What do you want Photoshop to do when it sees a mismatch? So for example, what should it do if it sees an SRGB and it's coming into Adobe, or if it sees a ProPhoto coming to Adobe? Well I actually like it to ask me. I like it to ask me when opening the image. So the image will come into Photoshop, and it'll go, "Boop, hey Mike, there's a problem. You were in this color space, but now you're wanting to go to this new one called Adobe. Do you still want it to convert or not?" So I always get another option here. So go ahead and put a check mark in each of those three items. Okay, the last segment up here is the conversion options. So I mentioned that a lot of times, we're working in colors that the printer cannot actually manage. So there has to be like this software conversion. How does it convert from all of these colors and output it into a smaller gamut? Printing almost always is a smaller color gamut than the space you're working in. Well, there's an engine, or a computational method. And there's basically two options. There's the Adobe engine or the Apple engine. And both of them probably work just fine, but over the years, I've been printing on inkjet printers now for maybe 15 or 20 years now. I've always used the Adobe engine, and it's always worked well for me. So I recommend the Adobe ACE engine. Rendering intent. I'm gonna talk about rendering intent a little bit later when we go to the actual print. So I'm gonna talk about the difference between relative and perceptual rendering intents. We'll get to that in a little bit. But for now, go ahead and leave it on relative. And then yes, use black point compensation. That helps keeps our black black. And it actually moves the darkest parts of the image up to the point where we can get a little bit of detail in the final print. So use black point compensation. Dithering is a good one to turn on. And compensate for scene referred profiles. I have to be honest, I don't even know what that means. So I don't know it all. So it sounds good, I'll check it. (chuckles) Bad answer, but it's impossible to know everything. So I'm gonna click OK. So now, Photoshop color management policies are all set up, and I'm ready to go for actually printing in Photoshop. Okay. Let's see. Okay, Lightroom is still dead. So fortunately, well unfortunately, I actually have to get Lightroom working. So, let's do this. Why don't we go to a question, and I'm gonna get Lightroom rebooted. That sounds good. Okay. Always questions, and let me know if you have any here in the studio as well. So, and thank you so much, 'cause this is the good stuff that people really have questions about. All of these profiles. A question, if somebody is running an external monitor off of their MacBook Pro, as I think you do sometimes, which screen profile, which screen do they profile? Okay. Love that question. And here's why I love it. Because I actually... So the answer is, you can profile both. That's the first easiest answer. You can profile both. But I don't know necessarily that you should profile both. So I mentioned earlier, I have an EIZO. And I use that EIZO all the time. It's a very expensive monitor, and I use it because it's one of the best monitors on the market. And I do all of my image developing and editing on that EIZO. But I also know that the rest of the world doesn't use an EIZO. So let's say I'm preparing a bunch of images to go on my Facebook page, or my Instagram account, or whatever. Well, most of the world doesn't view their images through a calibrated monitor. So I actually like to have an uncalibrated monitor that I can also take the photo and go, "here's what it looks like on my EIZO." And then I literally drag it over to my laptop and go, "Oh, that's what it looks like on Grandma's computer or on Uncle Larry's computer." That's how bright it would look on a website on an uncalibrated monitor. So to answer his question, a lot of times I leave my laptop monitor uncalibrated, so it's brighter and bluer, as we saw. And then I have a separate monitor that is calibrated that I can do my photo work. And I drag back and forth between those two regularly, yeah.

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!