Panoramas are always very impressive.  Some scenes scream for us to make panoramas.  There are applications on cellphone that help in making panoramas.  But are they Great Panoramas?

Let’s go together through the steps to create this Panorama.  By the way, the original image, as cropped on your screen would easily print at 20 x 80 inches.  This is what I call great panoramas.Mount Moran in Sunrise

I took this picture in September at about 9:00 am.  The sun is still low but some harsh shadows started to creep in on the sides of the mountains.   I wanted to get the most out of this picture.  I don’t go often to the Grand Teton National Park.

How to make Great Panoramas

Steps

Description

Step #1

Firmly anchor the tripod on the ground at a place where the relative distance was about the same when panning.  Hang your camera bag at the bottom of the center column for increase stability;

Step #2

Mount the Camera in Portrait mode, to get the most of the horizontal resolution of the sensor;

Step #3

Ensure that the tripod is leveled by panning the camera while looking through the viewfinder.  Adjust as needed;

Step #4

Set the exposure bracketing according to the scene.  In this case, I chose – 1 1/3, 0, -1 1/3;

Step #5

On a zoom lens, keep enough space at the top and the bottom of the frame to crop.  Up to a fourth of the picture will be loss due to cropping at the end;

Step #6

Pan the scene again and find the place in the scene where it is brightest according to the camera sensor;

Step #7

Decide on the aperture you will use taking into account the focal length, the needed depth of field, and the distance to the nearest and farthest point in the scene;

Step #8

Shoot a test shot and use exposure compensation to avoid clipping on the right side of your histogram. Take notes of the speed used;

Step #9

Switch to manual and set the aperture and the speed found in Step #7;

Step #10

Switch to live-view and manual autofocus, adjust focusing based on an object that is one-third into the scene.  Verify that everything is sharp from the nearest to the farthest. Adjust as needed;

Step #11

Switch to manual focusing, set the option mirror lock up and delayed shutter by 2 seconds;

Step #12

Take a picture of your hand. This is the start of the sequence;

 

Take the first picture at one end of the panorama keeping at least half the frame of outside the wanted area;

Step #13

Pan the camera and keep 50% of the previous scene in the visor.  Take the following shot.  Repeat as necessary.  Shoot your hand to mark the end of it;

 

Steps in post-production using Lightroom and Photoshop

Step #1

After importing the pictures, adjust the following parameters in Lightroom on the first picture and synchronize with all others:  Camera Profile if available and Lens
Corrections.

Step #2

Merge to HDR PRO in Photoshop and save the resulting .tif file.  Do not tone map the image in Photoshop;

Step #3

Import back the images in Lightroom if necessary (depending on your setup);

Step #4

Tone map your first resulting image using Lightroom.  Synchronize all parameters with the following images;

Step #5

Hunt and get rid of all dust spots on all images;

Step #6

Merge to Panorama in Photoshop using default parameters;

Step #7

Crop the picture keeping all but the missing areas;

Step #8

Save and import back in Lightroom as necessary;

Step #9

It is now time to care for Clarity, Sharpness and Noise as needed.

Step #10

Print it big and hang it on your wall!  😉

This is how I make great panorama.  It takes time but it is really rewarding.  These pictures are treasures to me.  Look at my other pictures of Grand Teton over here.

You are not likely to find these quality images in boutique.  You went there, took the time to make it right and did the post processing and hang it on your wall.


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