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  • Meg

Stitch up the Old Year!

If you're anything like me you'll have dozens of photographs in your collection which come under the "I'll-stitch-that-panorama-together-later" category. No? Just me? Ah well - read this and then go and take a bunch!

Now that 2017 is done and 2018 is here I've been going through last year's wannabe-panoramas and actually stitching them together. Here's a quick guide to using Lightroom to do this (no Photoshop needed!).

The process itself is actually very easy - you'll usually have taken the photographs immediately after each other, so once imported into Lightroom they'll appear next to each other so long as they are ordered by "Capture Time" in the Library screen. Now head to the "Develop" screen - into the area where the magic takes place!

Step 1: hold Ctrl and select the images you want to stitch into a panorama

Step 2: right click and select Photomerge, and then Panorama - you'll immediately get a preview!

Step 3: play with the spherical/cylindrical/perspective options (and the boundary warp if you'd like) to get the image that looks most "right"

Step 4: hit "Merge" - the panorama is added to your library and can be edited as any other photograph! Done!

Now all that remains are a few tips for successful panoramas:

Firstly - if you image contains a level horizon (ie a seascape) PLEASEPLEASEPLEASE make it level!!! No wonky horizons! This sounds obvious but believe me - there are LOTs of squiff seas out there!

(NB Some perspectives/lenses may give a distorted view, meaning a curved horizon - this is acceptable and can be quite pleasing, but I recommend making this OBVIOUS, rather than subtle, so the viewer knows it is the effect you were going for).

Secondly -don't go thinking panoramas are only horizontal - play with verticals for a nice "slice of view" effect.

Thirdly - try turning your camera portrait-wise - a panorama need not LOOK like a long thin image, it might just be a way o capturing a wider angle that your lens would otherwise allow - the image below is actually 3 images stitched together.

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