Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Easy Panorama Travel Images – Part 2

A Fine Art Print
A Fine Art Print

Easy Panorama Travel Images - Part 2                                                           © 2013 David Smith

Using your camera to capture panoramic images was covered in a recent Blog post: Easy Panorama Travel Images - Part 1. After capturing the multiple set of images with your camera, stitching of your panorama images is easy with today's stitching software. Note that some cameras stitch the images in camera or use a video capture technique without requiring a computer and software. This post covers software techniques.


Before merging the images into a panorama you need to decide on the final size of the panorama photograph and to match that size with your own printer or photo finishers capability. A common panorama aspect ratio (i.e width:height) is 4:1,5:1 or 6:1. A typical image resolution for printing is 300 pixels per inch so a 100 in wide x 20 in. tall panorama print (a 5:1 aspect ratio) requires a crop width of 100 in x 300 pixels/inch = 30,000 pixels and a height crop of 20 in. x 300 pixels/inch = 6,000 pixels. In short, 30,000 x 6,000 pixels. Simply select your crop dimensions for 30,000 x 6,000 pixels and set the resolution in the crop tool to 300 pixels/inch and voila you have a crop!
]Decide in image sizes before select the crop

Decide on image size before select the crop[/caption]

Watch edges and key components before final crop is done

Watch edges and key components before final crop is done

Some online printing services may restrict image file size so your huge panorama file may not be accepted. Check the uploading specifications for your printer service as some may accept lower resolution (as low as 100 pixels per inch), compressed files or smaller dimensions for upsizing.  Alternately deliver the image file directly. Expect file sizes in the range of 10 Megabytes to 50 Megabytes and more depending on the camera megapixels, number of images used in creating the panorama, cropping, image resolution and jpg compression or quality settings used.
The screen snapshots in this post are taken from Adobe Photoshop CS4's "Photomerge" tool which is identical to Photoshop Elements (9 and up) File/New/Photomerge tool. Most scenic and travel panoramas involve subjects which are a long distance from the camera so shooting handheld and leaving the software default settings and options on the wizards works well. In some cases, particularly for closer architectural images, you may need to experiment with image layout and image distortion correction option settings to get a good merge. Sometimes just repeating the software process creates a better merge.


Select your panorama  series images using the "photomerge" tool
Select your panorama series images using the "photomerge" tool

The default settings work well with scenic panoramas. Experiment with various options as necessary
The default settings work well with scenic panoramas. Experiment with various options as necessary

When your subject is closer to the camera, within 50 feet or so, you can get parallax errors associated with the fact that the optical center of the camera is not the same as the tripod screw pivot point or center point of a handheld sequence. In such cases the camera position needs to move forward or backward  to minimize this type of distortion using somewhat expensive ($200 plus) adjustment mounts or like I do jury rigging off tripod center camera mounts with screws and metal pieces for a few dollars. To correct perspective distortion and correct buildings falling in (i.e. vertical lines are not vertical) in Photoshop CS or Elements use Select/All and the Edit/Transform/Perspective options then select and drag the tiny corner boxes for vertical true lines. Watch for an upcoming  Blog post this month  entitled "Easy Correction of  Perspective Distorted Travel Images" 


In addition to the easy to use panorama tool wizards in Adobe ( Photoshop CS (CS2 and up) and Photoshop Elements (9.0 and up), software supplied with some cameras and other software solutions are available. Other panorama stiching software includes the free Hugin Panorma Photosticher (, PTgui (€ 79 and up) from and panatour (€99.00) from


I have recently added a high quality World panoramic fine art print collection to my Fine Art America online print gallery including 360 degree views of the interior of Grand Central Station in New York City (in color and black and white) , snowy city skyline of Vancouver, BC, Monaco harbor in the French Riviera, Portofino in the Italian Riviera , Santorini caldera and newly uploaded Cape Town Skyline at sunset and the Catherine Palace near St. Petersburg, Russia.  Most of my panoramic fine art prints have been dramatically enhanced with the Adjust 5.0 "Spicify" plug-in (usable in most software products) from Topaz Labs.

Use the Select/All and Edit/Transform/Perspective to straighten verticals
Use the Select/All and Edit/Transform/Perspective to straighten verticals


You are welcome to post links to your online panorama images in the comments below or join and upload your travel images to my Facebook Group:  Travel Photography Tips and Photo Adventures. I will award complimentary lifetime access to my online Travel Photography-Amazing Tips &  Techniques Course  for the best panoramic image submitted before May 31/13.

About the author:  David Smith is a world travel photographer, travel writer, travel photo blogger, photo instructor and guest lecturer on cruise ships, photo conferences and corporate events.  He has visited 100 countries on 6 continents and is published worldwide.  Recent clients include National Geographic -Poland, Wall Street  Journal, Seabourn Cruise Lines, Oceania Cruise Lines, Holland America Lines,  Geo Saison and Frommers. Web sites:  Interface Images online archives ,  Fine Art Print Galley,  online photo training courses, Facebook page and Facebook Travel Photo group.  Contact

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