In this tutorial you will learn how to create panoramas that are big and with a different perspective and not the usual narrow and long ones, these work best with buildings and objects that otherwise would look small in a normal panorama photo, starting from how to shoot them down to how to stitch them together and how to make Photoshop work faster.
We will create a panorama that is shot with the camera being positioned vertically, for this you need any camera, preferably something that can shoot in Camera Raw, Adobe Photoshop CS 6 or any other version will do and Adobe Lightroom, I will show you what I do when the photos are taken, how to take them and how to increase performance in Photoshop by letting it use most of your RAM and how to prepare them in Lightroom for hassle free stitching in Photoshop.
First of all you need to take your camera, go outside and find a place you would like to take a photo of, lets start with finding a big building that just would not look good if you take 1 photo of it. I stumbled upon The Royal Pavillion on my visit to Brighton, to take photos of it I pointed my camera at the centre of the building, the camera was positioned sideways (as if to take a portrait photo) I have canon 600d with a 14mm lens but any will do, when you aim at the centre of th building go as close as you can so that there is almost nothing else in the frame apart from the photo, but do leave a bit of ground and sky un the top and bottom of the image to allow cropping at a later stage (see the image) this will be your centre image. (image 1)
Standing where you are after taking your first photo turn slightly to your right and take the next shot keeping the camera at the same level and so that the next shot overlaps about 40% of the first one and continue shooting until your last shot has around 40% of the building in and the rest is of whatever background there is, this is to allow cropping, do this in both directions but make sure you centre your first shot correctly and do not tilt the camera or it will go wrong at the end like the wonky roof in the third image below. Now that you have all your shots you can go home and import them into Adobe Lightroom.
Now that the photos are in Lightroom select the first image and make adjustments such as spot removal, color correction, but do not crop the photo, you might want to go to Lens correction and choose camera and lens profile to get rid of dark corners of the images and to allow Lightroom to correct them (or don’t, sometimes it works without it) before we go to next step.
Now that you are happy with your first shot make sure it is highlighted in your library then hold down Shift key and click on the last shot from your panorama so that all of them are highlighted, then click on Sync button, this will open a menu with boxes, make sure you tick the boxes with adjustments you made such as Lens correction, don’t worry about spot removal as that can be done in the end, once you have checked all the boxes you need click on synchronize button and wait until Lightroom does its magic.
Now before we do anything else lets improve Photoshop performance open Adobe Photoshop > Edit > Preferences > Performance now it is best to choose the same scratch disk as the one where you have Photoshop installed but if that does not have a lot of space use another one, ten set the amount of available RAM you will let it use I have set mine to use 90%, Now the image will be huge depending on your camera it might be way over 4GB as a default when Lightroom and Photoshop work together, Photoshop will try to save the file into Lightroom as TIFF which has max file size of 4GB, this will not work, To fix that you need to go to Lightroom > Edit > Preferences > External Editing and in the first drop down menu change TIFF to PSD, and the problem is solved.
Now go back to Lightroom and with all your images still highlighted right-click on one of them this will open a pop up menu now go to Edit in and choose Merge to Panorama in Photoshop.
Now Lightroom might ask you if you want to open it due to raw not being supported or something like that if this window appears click open anyway this will open the files in Photoshop and a photo merge window as a default it is set to auto and blend images just click ok. Now just keep in mind that you have a lot more photos than when taking a ordinarry panorama so this might take a long time depending on the computer you have, my laptop took around an hour to do so but then I had not changed performance settings in Photoshop now wait until the file is merged into a panorama.
Once the panorama is created you can crop it using crop tool once you have cropped your image close the file, this will ask you if you want to save changes to the image, click yes and it will disappear, now do not worry as Photoshop will automatically send the file back to Lightroom.
Final step and the final result
Now you are back in Lightroom and can adjust clarity of the image and make color adjustments to it and once that is done all you need to do to save it as jpg image is right-click on it and export. And that is it.