Skip to main content

Travel Panoramas

Lesson 11 from: Travel Photography: The Complete Guide

Ben Willmore

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

11. Travel Panoramas


Class Trailer



Course Introduction


Camera Gear for Travel


What Camera Gear Should You Buy?


Gear Bags for Travel Photography


Location Research and Pre-Trip Planning


Importing and Naming Conventions in Lightroom


Processing Images with Presets in Lightroom


Lesson Info

Travel Panoramas

Often times they need to shoot panoramas. And sometimes the panoramas are quite wide and other times they are not. I want to give you an idea of how my mindset changes when I'm shooting the panorama. First this is a panorama even though it's a vertical. In this case we're driving down the road, I think we might have been in Yellowstone or I don't remember where we were. Some national park or similar area. And we saw all these people looking up and you're like you know there's something up there if there's a dozen people looking up. And so we assumed it was a bear and so stopped real quick, took this picture of this person down here. I don't know if this'll load in time. It's rather grainy cause it was old camera and I haven't de-grained it. But they're pointing up here. I took a shot down at the bottom and then I tilted up, clicked again, tilted up, clicked again, tilted up, clicked again, and kept going to get this and let's just see if we can click up near the top. That's not where i...

t is. Somewhere up here there's a bear. There he is. I just wanted to somehow capture that. This is on an older camera where the quality wasn't as good as far as grain goes but I wished I would have spent a little more time now and just waited for the bear to get in a better position. Often times with panoramas when there's any action happening what I'll do is capture the entire panorama and then I'll concentrate only on where the action is. Or actually usually it's the other way around. I start with the action until I got it and then I'm like alright I'm not gonna swing away from this. I'm gonna turn it into a panorama. And so I might have been up here in this case though, the action would have been capturing this person cause without the person, it's a different photo. So get the person. Click, click, click, go up here and then just sit there and wait for the bear to do something. Once they move to an area where I can see him click and I'm just gonna substitute that image for the original I took when I had originally did the panorama. In order to do a panorama these are just a bunch of boats in I think this was Sydney, Australia. And it was on Valentines Day and they just happened to have them out in an area we were walking by. This is my panorama of them. In order to do a successful panorama there's some important points and that is first we need the exposure to be consistent. And it depends on your camera. If I grab the one that's closest to me on this camera here if you learn about the settings on your camera you can be much more effective with it. With this camera on the back of it there is a button that looks like a star, an asterisks on it. That if I press it is gonna lock the exposure. It's gonna keep it locked until I press it again. Although you can change what that button does so it depends how your camera's set up. So if I'm about to do a panorama I pick the most important part of the panorama, the most challenging part exposure wise. If the sun's in the scene it might be near there. And I go to that area and I do a test exposure. Just click. And I chimp it, meaning look at it and see if I like it. If I don't like it I change my camera settings, I take another shot. Then, once I know I have the exposure nice I press that button on the back of my camera. I've just locked the exposure. The other thing that I do is I take my lens and I click it over to manual focus. Cause the problem is when you go across a panorama if your focus changes in every single shot if you ever have your lens at F2.8 or F4 or even 5, you can get a dramatic shift in exactly where it is in focus and when you stitch them together it doesn't look right. I'm not sure if I'll be able to find a shot like that but if I can find the one that's in my mind. If I find the one that's in my mind then the... Here it is. Remember I said five seconds? You gotta find an image. Okay? Then if you zoom up on it and if you ever have, I don't know if it'll load in time. But if you have a soft background like this, if your focus point changes the littlest bit, look at this panorama. Loved that panorama. I was so proud of myself after getting that, stitching it, and just kind of going yeah. Then, Epson actually said hey will you send me that picture? We might want to use it for our advertisements. I'm like what, are you kidding me? And I zoomed up on it to say okay well I'm gonna get rid of every little dust speck if there's anything in there and all that on this thing. And I was going across the image like this, going okay I'm gonna see if there's anything that needs to be cleaned up and do you see what happens right about here? Do you see how this blurry right here and now it's a sharp part here? This is the sharp part. It's closer to the camera. Oh it was back here. My focus point changed. I didn't do one little click right here on my lens. Do you know how many times I am going to do that problem again? I'm not gonna do it again because that image right there taught me. Cause I'm not coming back to Africa any time soon. That was taken in Africa. How often I'm gonna be able to get that again? So all it takes is one image to learn from. I will try to share with you some but the main thing is I will try to always try to press the button that locks my exposure and click my lens over to manual focus. Then here's an example of where I do a panorama with some action. Here is the panorama. It's a really wide view. This is in the Palouse, which is near Spokane. There's my wife Karen and she was just kind of sitting there as I was doing the panorama. So I get my wide panorama. Here's the stitched one though. And look at her though. She looks different in the stitched one. It's a different pose. That's because I did the entire panorama and before I pressed the button on the back to unlock the exposure, I had then I concentrated on where my wife was standing and I say okay Karen, try different things, do that, uh huh. Don't try that, do something else, okay. No that looks good, no that's better. And try all those things to get that one little slice that's gonna be inserted into my panorama. All I'm gonna do is replace one picture from my original set and that's overly common. In Africa there's a lion sitting there really close to me. Get it, and then I start doing my pan all over. Yeah, that's the main thing with panoramas. Also with panoramas try not to as you're panning across get your camera to go up or down. So what I do is in my camera view finder I have a grid. On a lot of the cameras especially the ones that have the electronic view finders you can turn on a grid to overlay. And I simply try to remember how far away is the horizon line or something else that would be at the same height, you know consistent height, from one of those lines. And as I'm panning across before I click on each one, I'm always seeing am I the same length away from that grid line to try to keep it consistent. Cause it only takes one panorama where you're going downhill on the end. When you have to crop it you lose it where you suddenly will not do that anymore. I also use panoramas quite a bit when my just the view I'm up closer to something and my lens doesn't go wide enough. I'll take one shot and then I'll just go the littlest bit over, take another shot, maybe go the littlest bit up and just take maybe four shots that overlap quite a bit. It doesn't even feel like a panorama. It's just making my lens a little wider by capturing more.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Lightroom Presets Quickstart Guide
Lightroom Preset Sampler
Pre-Trip Planning
Actions Sampler Guide
Travel Photography Handbook
Actions Sampler
Lightroom Keywords
Big Set of Lightroom Presets
Practice Images
Travel Photogtaphy Mobile Guide
Gear List
Lightroom Tips and Keyboard Shortcuts

Ratings and Reviews


This was simply an amazing experience! Without a doubt the best investment of time and money I have experienced in quite awhile. Ben's complete command of the subject, the practical tips, suggestions and reference information was outstanding. I have enjoyed point and shoot photography for some time and recently decided to invest in some decent DSLR equipment (Canon EOS D70). I have a trip to Cape Town and Johannesburg South Africa rapidly approaching and thought it might be a good idea to take some classes and make an effort to get up the learning curve ASAP to take advantage of this travel opportunity. "Discovering" Creativelive and Ben Willmore's class was literally an answer to prayer! There is nothing like sitting at the foot of wisdom, taking notes, and having numerous "ah-ha" moments! This was great....looking forward to more classes. Thanks for the high quality effort!

a Creativelive Student

Genius! Ben is a brilliant master teacher - focused, clear and holds back no information. The best! This course has condensed the equivalent of 10 courses into one. He is a perfectionist in his approach and knows how to present the material. He is the leader in photoshop and photography "par excellence". Highly recommend any of his courses. Save your time and start with the best - everyone loves Ben!!!!

Nichole Sams

I feel the title of this class, Travel Photography, is much to limiting for what you are really going to get. As a wedding photographer, who dreams of traveling, I attending the class live in Seattle, and was hoping to get some inspiration for on location shoots. What I got, however, was a WHOLE LOT MORE. I would recommend this class to anyone with a camera and Lightroom. What I learned about how lightroom works and how to integrate it with photoshop is invaluable. I actually think they should charge WAY more for this course. The bonuses with purchase from the keywords (we are talking every key word you could possibly imagine) and the presets (holycow everything you would ever need) are worth exponentially more than the course price itself. Ben is a gentle easy going teacher and nice to listen to. His ease of teaching pretty complex ideas was truly wonderful. If you are reading this you must buy this course, it is well worth it!

Student Work