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Lesson 24 from: Post-Processing for Outdoor and Travel Photographers

Ben Willmore

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Lesson Info

24. Panoramas

Lesson Info


you're going to be limited in how why of a panorama you can stitch if you're not overly careful when you shoot him so here is a panorama ah that is me see if I can find this one is sixty thousand pixels wide by three thousand five hundred seventy five pixels tall so sixty thousand pixels is a lot just so you know a normal photograph from the camera this was captured from would be about fifty worlds fifty seven this is the normal with of a picture from the camera that captured this but the actual panorama is massive but if you look at how wide it is in order to be able to stitch that and not end up with something that looks like it's going downhill on one end means you gotta be careful shooting it let's talk though about photo shop in about stitching of those panoramas to make sure they look good so first when I'm shooting sometimes I cheat if you look at the panorama of my wife karen here it is she's doing a yoga pose she's in the middle of this place knows the pollux ce and you see sh...

e's got this great pose and we got the whole panorama do you think I actually took that entire panorama will she held that pose so that I'm going click over here click click hold on karen click click click and by the time you get over there she looked like she'd been doing it for a year now what I did instead is I pre planned my panorama I got my camera set up so I could pan it around a framed it up by testing going back and forth and then I pointed my camera and I ended up making this panorama but when I did if you can see here's some of it I'm shooting it although I started on the other side but when I was karen was just sitting there relaxing and she didn't even know what the heck I was doing all right in on lee after I was completely done with the entire panorama did I point it back karen and I said okay now give me some poses and she experimented with what a hat but I'd already done the entire panorama and all I'm going to do is replace one shot from in the middle of the panorama with this one that every priced so it makes sense that sometimes I'll cheat do the whole panorama and then look for action I also often times do that with wildlife I'll keep my camera pointed right out of wild animals really uptight and click click click until he does something amazing and then right after that I start going click click click click click get the whole background click click click click click so I can stitch it together doesn't have to be one wide while one it could be a grid where you have multiple rows so it ends up being a much larger area so what do we need to do in order to stitch theis and make them look good well the first thing we need to do is we need make sure that all of them are adjusted the same amount so here I'm going to click on it the beginning part of the panorama you know I'm going to scroll through and find the ending right there and I'm going to look through them and decide what's the most important part of the panorama and if I look through this these aren't overly important here were certainly get mountains I think that's more important we've got a house or something there and right there maybe what's what it's that area right there I'm gonna figure out where that is click on it to make it the most selected image and that's the image I'll be viewing when I developed the when I process it and I'm going to move these sliders around just like I would on a normal photograph until I like the look of it here I'll reset this to show you what it looked like before processing that's what it looked like out of the camera that's what I ended up doing to it when I'm done adjusting that just like with the normal image I would usually just the blacks make sure have a tiny area black remember then I'll go back to the grid and I'll just review the images to make sure that processing didn't do something like make these mountains turn almost black or something and if it did I would click on this picture that I would find tune it so that all the images would change again but this would not be messed up but in this case I'm just looking through them and it seems to look fine now these are twenty four megapixel images they're huge I don't think I want to stitch them with my fingers crossed thinking I hope it looks good when it's done I'm going to test it first with lower resolution images so if I go to the file menu we haven't talked about exporting yet out of light room we'll get into that maybe after we're done with panoramic x to be a good thing to get into but usually I don't choose export to get an image out of light room instead I export using a preset and one other thing I don't know if we've mention or not but if you purchase the course I'm giving you a bunch of presets I'm going to give you the export presets that I use I'm going to give you search presets that I use I'm going to give you adjustment brush presets going to be a whole bunch of things to try to just make light room more friendly without you having to figure out every little thing but one of the choices that I have in here and find it might not actually be in this list right here eight hundred pixels for panto tests then so I'm gonna choose eight hundred picks rooms for panto test and if I choose that it's going to export each one of these images in this case is a total of seventeen pictures it's scaling them down to a small size so that they'll stitch very quickly and therefore I contest the settings that I'm going to use when they get stitched together because otherwise if I do them at full resolution there's some settings that I could change and use different settings each other I don't want to wait that long it's gonna take a long time to do that high resolution of images ben quick question a cz just as it's working one of the guests in our charm says when I take two or three frame panorama is with sky in the photo the difference in the sky shows at the edge of each frame so maybe it sounds like exposure might have changed slightly between images well thinks giveaway to help with that in post yeah well this is should compensate for that anyway but there's a couple reasons why can happen the first reasonably just take one note before I forget ok the first reason is a lot of people put a protective filter in front of the camera lens so that if something hits the front of their lens it messes the filter up which is much less expensive to replace than the lens itself yeah the only thing is if the filter that you happen to put in front of your lens is a polarizing filter where you could rotate it and by rotating it you'll find things like the sky changing in different ways you don't usually wanna have one of those on when taking a panorama if you end up doing a panorama and a polarizing filters on your lens you'll find that your sky will be uneven what happens is that the polarizing filter will darken the sky but it'll darken it the most when your camera is pointed ninety degrees from where the sun is so if not used to thinking that way just turn your hand into a gun like this point your thumb with the sun wherever it is it's behind your shoulders and then if you rotate your hand around it like this well this is point right at the sun it's gonna darken the most where my finger is pointing my camera points like that but we're taking a panorama like this and when I get over to this part of the panorama where it would affected the most is going dark in the sky because I get further away from that ninety degrees it's not going to darken the sky as much and so it's going to make your sky uneven so if you happen to usually shoot with a polarizing filter when you going to shoot a panorama take it off ah the other thing is we need to make sure our exposure is consistent ah lot of people will use manual mode in order to do that but you don't have to instead there's a button on the back of your camera that locks the exposure it'll either be labeled a e l that stands for auto exposure lock or it will just look like an ass tricks on most cameras although it might have some other symbol if you had an odd name you know odd brand camera but what you want to do is press that button before you take your panorama and if I remember correctly on my camera I pressed the button I take the panorama and I press the button again to disable that mode and in my view finder I c a remember right a little ass trick showing up which indicates the exposure's locked I mean it's not going very when I point the camera all over in different spots so I test my exposure wherever the most critical part is like where the sun might be in the shot that kind of thing that I mess with my camera settings until that part looks good and then I locked that exposure with that button and I could take my panorama there is a feature in light room that I don't usually need to use but could be used here in it give me a second I could probably find it and it would try to fix those images we just get rid of any processing that airs on these let's see so here these vary in brightness is one's darker than that one in somewhere in light room there is a choice it might be in here it might be somewhere else there's a setting that will attempt to even out the exposure's s o that they look more consistent where if you had bracketing turned on it'll look like you didn't have bracketing turned on but it will take me a moment to figure out where it is because it's not a feature that I usually need to use if anybody happens nowhere it isthe let's rest now I will see if anyone in the chair mentions it suzanne matthew also mentioned that auto white balance is something that will also screw up a panorama occasionally so just things to be watching out for yes auto white bounce khun definitely do especially if there's like a light source on one side like the sun where it's a warm light source in your camera's changing the white balance between each um shot so definitely thanks for bringing that up uh let's see here quick I don't see it offhand but I'll write it down so I can mention it tomorrow perfect and if I find that feature then we'll be able to have it make things more consistent across them so if you happen to not have a consistent exposure it might save those images uh allow you to do it so remember I ended up using an export preset that exported a bunch of files and they actually get automatically put into a folder this folder was created by that export its going to stitch me and inside there is the end result these air all those images if I click on one on the macintosh you can press the space bar to get a preview of of any picture in a folder on you can see it's a smaller picture it doesn't fill my screen anymore um and so these images I'm going to stitch and I usually do them with bridge but a lot of people hate bridge if they end up using light room all the time so let me see if I can figure out a different way of doing this might take me just a moment though this should let me I think yeah okay here's how you can do it if you have a folder of images instead of coming from light room if they're in light room and I wanted to stitch a panorama I just select the images and I could choose photo add it in and then there's a choice down here called merge to panorama and it would stitch the images together but we have seventeen images that air twenty four million pixels and it would take all day and if I needed to change the settings then I'd have to go through the whole process again so we're testing things and when I choose this option right here emerged to panorama and photo shop I can access that manually and photo shop instead in pointed at that folder of images we have those images that are exported or not in light room they're not important in there so I can't use the command we reason so I go to the file menu I'm going to come down to automate and that's where I'll find a choice called photo merch photo merges what use for emerging panoramas of here and photo shop it's the exact same command that light room would send your images too if you use the photo editor in menu like a showed you and here they are in the middle section it needs to know what files you'd like use there's a browse button click it and I'll go find that folder on my desktop called stitch me click open and you see all these images I couldjust command a for select all open it just put them in this list so all I have done is I cooked the brows bud in that folder is already automatically created on my desktop so I just pointed at my desktop and select all the images and hit open now the left side I'm gonna leave this set to auto these air where you might need to experiment where if it doesn't work the first time around you come through and try this again in switch which setting is being used at the bottom there's a check box called blend images together and that's one thing the person that was stitching the panorama that had an uneven sky when they were done where they could see the seams might not have that turn on either but these are just the default settings so I didn't have to click that turn on it's on by default I'm gonna click okay and it's going to stitch my panorama and it couldn't use these pieces down here because it just couldn't figure out where they would fit within that pan around on occasion that will happen just shoved him down here there is a way to manually stitch a panorama where if it just can't figure it out but you convince julie see where they should go together you couldn't manually move these around where you can select a layer in manually we got only one layer that isthe you could select a layer and manually moving around and stuff and then there is the command that was called auto blend layers it's the same command we used when we had that picture of the broken glass with a sign in the distance uh it would be able to turn it into something seamless but in this case I think I have a nice wide panoramic here so I'm fine not using those little pieces in this particular instance I can select those if I use the move tool you want usually need to do this because rare for it to do this but if you use the move tool there's a little trick and that is if you hold on the command key controlling windows you can click and drag and it makes a box in whatever's inside the box gets selected so all the layers in my layers panel uh are just the layers that were in that box and I could throw this away so here's my panorama and the reason for its shape this whole part here is these areas on the ends were further away from me when I was shooting this was the area closest to me and as things get further away from you that you look smaller and smaller so it had to end up spending it like that in order to make it look like they belong together sometimes but not always you can uh get some of that back with a few changes afterwards in your layers panel you're gonna have one layer for each image and there's not a lot of use for those layers right now so what I'm going to do is go to the layer menu and just choose merge visible and all that means is combine all those layers together

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Bonus Packet
Post Processing Practice Files

Ratings and Reviews


After catching parts of each of the three days, I knew that I would need to have access to this wealth of information. What is great about the program is the ability to stop and go back over something that is not fully understood...and be able to do that until confident enough to move on. I saw no "fluff" in the course, just great information imparted with a style that is makes it easy to understand. CreativeLive scored a big hit with this course! The bonus material is SO valuable, especially the presets. That saves an enormous amount of time for me. My appreciation of the power behind the software is becoming ever clearer. Thanks, Ben, for another outstanding presentation!

Shannon Beelman Photography

Ben has been amazing! He is a wealth of information on organizing images as well as great tips to make your travel images pop just a little more. I came into this class feeling like I had a good handle on lightroom and have come out with a better understanding of the power of the software to make artistic life easier. He covers tips, tricks and little known options that help make workflow smother. I have sat here watching as much of the free broadcast as I can and in this last week I have gotten control over years of images in my lightroom. This is one I know I will be buying soon.


Great class! Somehow, it was enjoyable not having Ben default to "curves for everything"! I don't think the title for this course did it justice, tho. This class was 90% Light Room and 10% Photoshop. I was very happy to discover that dynamic and equally as happy to purchase this course! If you are new to Light Room, this class is a MUST. Creative Live offers several LR classes but this is the one to own. Ben is working on his new book about Light Room Mastery - can't wait! In the meanwhile, I'll be watching Ben's thorough approach to LR in this video. So, don't let the title throw you a curve ball, if you are new to Light Room or a seasoned user, there's plenty of great information - delivered as only Ben can! Thanks CL for this great class!

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