Lightroom Folders vs. Collections: A Simple Explanation

Click the title of the article to read this post on Improve Photography, which includes all media files mentioned.

Anyone who uses Lightroom knows that it is an incredibly powerful image editing tool.  However, the post-processing features in the software are only half the package.  Lightroom is also great for keeping images organized.  Still, understanding and harnessing the full potential of Lightroom organization can be confusing at best.  Why are there Folders and Collections?  What is the difference and which should you use?  And what in the heck are Smart Collections?  Read on to find out the answers to these questions, and more!

This article will only offer some basic definitions and how the hierarchical system within Lightroom works.  If you really want to get into the nuts and bolts of total image organization, check out Lightroom Medic in the Improve Photography Store.  Jim Harmer will walk you through folder naming, keywording, image rating, and more, to get your Lightroom Catalog in tip-top shape.

 

First Thing’s First – What is a Catalog?

Before diving into the main topic of this article, it may be a good idea to start with a discussion about the Lightroom Catalog.  This will be a review for some, but will help to lay the basic groundwork for those who are not familiar with how Lightroom manages photos.

The Lightroom Catalog is a database that stores basic information about each image imported into Lightroom.  The actual image files are not stored in the Catalog.  Images can be stored on the computer’s internal drive or on external storage.  Information in the Catalog includes the location of the image files so they can be viewed or edited when you call them up.

A great analogy is the old card catalogs there were used in libraries.  Each of the cards in those little drawers contained information about a book, such as title, author, publish date, etc.  The books themselves were not in those little drawers (obviously).  Rather, location information on the card told you where to find the book on a shelf somewhere else in the library.  The Lightroom Catalog works the same way, except digitally.

 

Folders

The Catalog is where all the information about images imported into Lightroom lives.  Folders are where the image files live.  Folders are not saved inside of Lightroom, but are stored somewhere on an internal or external hard drive.  When importing images into Lightroom, you specify where those images will be stored on your computer or an external hard drive.  Lightroom “remembers” where those images are saved and the directions for finding them are part of the Catalog.  This sounds confusing, but the folders are like any other folder on your computer.  The ones with your images just happen to be referenced by Lightroom so the images can be viewed and edited within the software.

Organization within Lightroom is key.  Jim Harmer just published an article on the Improve Photography website with some great tips for accomplishing this.  One big step in the organizational process is to develop a good folder structure.  There is a never-ending debate about how to set up folders and what to name them, but I won’t go into that here.  Choose a system that makes sense for your workflow and that works for you.

One tip that I would repeat is to keep all of your images within a single root folder.  You can name it simply “Photos” or be more creative and call it “MyAwesomePictures”.  It doesn’t really matter; just pick something and keep all images inside that folder.  Within that top tier folder is where you will have all the different subfolders that make up your folder structure.  For instance, I have a root folder named “Photos” (really creative, I know).  Within that folder, there is a subfolder for 2017, and within that is another folder titled Zion National Park.  The images that I captured in Zion last month are saved in that folder on an external hard drive.

 

Collections

Using Collections is a great way to take your image organization within Lightroom to another level.  There does, however, seem to be a lot of misunderstanding about what Collections are and how they work.  Think of Collections like the playlists on your MP3 player.  Just like adding songs to make a playlist, you add photos to a Collection.  The important thing to remember is that adding a photo to a Collection doesn’t mean the photo is copied to a new location.  The original image stays in the folder where it was placed when imported.  Adding it to a Collection gives you the ability to see the preview and reference the photo from that original folder location.  A single photo can be added to as many Collections as you want, and there will still only be one original image file.

The Collections panel is accessed on the left side of the Lightroom interface from any of the Lightroom Modules.  The Collections panel will be the last one on the list in that left toolbar.  If you don’t see the Collections panel, it can be revealed by right-clicking on any of the other panel names and selecting the option for it to be visible.  Bonus tip: Right-click on any of the panels and select Solo Mode.  That way, only one panel will be open at a time.  Once a new panel is opened, the previous one will close automatically, and keep the workspace clean and easier to navigate.  This feature is available for the panels on the right toolbar as well.

To create a Collection, click on the “+” sign to the right of the Collections tool panel, and choose the Create Collection option.  A window will pop up giving you the option to name the Collection.  There is also the option to place the Collection inside a Collection Set.  More on what a Collection Set is in a moment.  You can have all photos currently selected go into that Collection, set the new Collection as the target Collection, and sync the Collection with Lightroom mobile (for Adobe Creative Cloud users).  After naming the Collection, click create and it will show up in the list in the panel below.

 

Collections vs. Collection Sets

Collection Sets are just another way of organizing images.  A Collection is like a single album of photos that you select.  A Collection Set is like a box of photo albums.  Within a Collection Set can be multiple Collections.  There are a number of ways this can be utilized in your workflow. Take for instance an annual top ten image selection.  A Collection Set titled Top Ten is created.  Within that Collection Set, will be a Collection for candidates that will be populated throughout the year, titled 2017 Candidates.  As the end of the year approaches, that list will need to be narrowed down, so I will create a new Collection titled 2017 Picks for only my ten best images for the year.

 

Adding Photos to a Collection

Once a Collection is created, there are a few ways to populate it with images.  One way is to simply click on the image thumbnail in the library view or filmstrip and drag it to the desired Collection.  Again, keep in mind that you are not actually moving the image file.  Another way is to set a Collection as a target Collection.  To do this, right-click on a Collection in the list and select Set as Target Collection.  A little “+” symbol next to the Collection name will indicate it has been set as the target Collection.

 

 

To add a photo to a target Collection, right-click on the image and choose the Add to Target Collection option and the photo will be added.  Better yet, as you scroll through the images, simply press the “B” on the keyboard and the image will automatically be added to the target Collection. This is a very quick and easy way to add the photos you want.  Just don’t forget to change the target Collection before moving on to the next shoot.

As if that weren’t enough, there is yet another way to add images to a target Collection.  in the filmstrip, notice a small circle in the upper right hand corner of each thumbnail image.  Clicking that circle will add that image to the target Collection.

 

Smart Collections

Smart Collections are the same as Collections in that photos are added without changing their location.  They are set up very differently, however.  A Smart Collection is set up using a variety of filters so that all images matching the prescribed criteria are automatically added.  To create a Smart Collection, click on the “+” in the Collections panel and select Create Smart Collection.  A dialog box will appear to add the Smart Collection name and a number of filtering options.  Photos can be filtered by star rating, pick flags, color labels, file name, date, camera used, and many others.

 

The possibilities are nearly limitless for creating Smart Collections.  Let’s say that I want to place all images in a Smart Collection with the keyword sunset, taken in 2017 with my Fuji X-T1 camera.  After specifying the search criteria, select Create and BAM!  A Smart Collection is created and instantly populated with all images that match that criteria.  I could add even more filtering fields to narrow down the selections even more.  Another use case would be in choosing your very best images for the year.  If you don’t place these into a Collection throughout the year, but do star ratings, you’re in luck.  Simply create a Smart Collection to include all images captured in 2017 with a star rating of 5.  All of those images will automatically be added to the Smart Collection.

 

You may notice that there are already a few default Smart Collections in Lightroom.  In my version, there is a Collection Set titled Smart Collections.  Within that Collection Set are Smart Collections titled Colored Red, Five Stars, Past Month, Recently Modified, Video Files, and Without Keywords.  Your version of Lightroom may be different.  These default Smart Collections are being populated with all images that match these criteria.  Tip: You can change the selection criteria of a Smart Collection by right-clicking on it and choosing Edit Smart Collection.

 

Default Lightroom Smart Collections. I really have a lot of images without keywords!!

 

Quick Collection

Yes, there is even more!  This one is not even found in the Collections panel, so it may not be obvious what it is for.  It is located in the Catalog panel, which is only visible within the Library Module of Lightroom.  As the name implies, this is a quick way to sort out selected images without going through the process of creating a Collection (yet).  If none of the Collections or Smart Collections are set as the target collection, then the Quick Collection is targeted, and will have the little “+” symbol next to it.  Therefore, any image can be added to the Quick Collection by either right-clicking to select Add to Target Collection, pressing the “B” on the keyboard, or clicking the small circle in the upper right corner of the image in the filmstrip.

 

The Quick Collection is the default targeted collection if no other Collection is targeted.

After going through a shoot and adding all the images you want to a Quick Collection, that Quick Collection can then be saved as a regular Collection.  Right-click on Quick Collection and select Save Quick Collection.  The dialog box that pops up will ask for the name of the collection and will also give you option to clear the Quick Collection after it has been saved.

 

Saving the Quick Collection will create a new Collection with the selected images.

 

So Many Collections

As you might guess, the number of Collections can really add up.  Over time, as you keep adding images to Collections, you may actually forget where an original image file is located.  A quick way to locate it is to right-click on the image and select Go to Folder in Library.  You will be instantly transported to the folder in your Lightroom Catalog where that image resides.

One Big Caveat

It should be noted that, at least at this time, Collections are not written to image files and will not be recognizable in other software programs.  This may be an issue for some, but for me personally, I don’t find it to be a huge issue.  It doesn’t seem that Lightroom will be going away anytime soon, so my Collections appear to be safe for now.

In Conclusion

Hopefully this article has helped to clear up any confusion that may exist about the difference between folders and collections within Lightroom.  They can be very important tools to help get (and keep) your images organized as well as easy to find.  Starting with a good folder structure is a great first step in achieving this goal.  There is really no right or wrong way to how yours is set up; just find what works best for you and be consistent.

Collections are an extremely useful and powerful tool to use for image organization within your Lightroom Catalog.  Learning how to use them will help keep your images more manageable and easier to find.

The post Lightroom Folders vs. Collections: A Simple Explanation appeared first on Improve Photography.

Lightroom Folders vs. Collections: A Simple Explanation

Click the title of the article to read this post on Improve Photography, which includes all media files mentioned.

Anyone who uses Lightroom knows that it is an incredibly powerful image editing tool.  However, the post-processing features in the software are only half the package.  Lightroom is also great for keeping images organized.  Still, understanding and harnessing the full potential of Lightroom organization can be confusing at best.  Why are there Folders and Collections?  What is the difference and which should you use?  And what in the heck are Smart Collections?  Read on to find out the answers to these questions, and more!

This article will only offer some basic definitions and how the hierarchical system within Lightroom works.  If you really want to get into the nuts and bolts of total image organization, check out Lightroom Medic in the Improve Photography Store.  Jim Harmer will walk you through folder naming, keywording, image rating, and more, to get your Lightroom Catalog in tip-top shape.

 

First Thing’s First – What is a Catalog?

Before diving into the main topic of this article, it may be a good idea to start with a discussion about the Lightroom Catalog.  This will be a review for some, but will help to lay the basic groundwork for those who are not familiar with how Lightroom manages photos.

The Lightroom Catalog is a database that stores basic information about each image imported into Lightroom.  The actual image files are not stored in the Catalog.  Images can be stored on the computer’s internal drive or on external storage.  Information in the Catalog includes the location of the image files so they can be viewed or edited when you call them up.

A great analogy is the old card catalogs there were used in libraries.  Each of the cards in those little drawers contained information about a book, such as title, author, publish date, etc.  The books themselves were not in those little drawers (obviously).  Rather, location information on the card told you where to find the book on a shelf somewhere else in the library.  The Lightroom Catalog works the same way, except digitally.

 

Folders

The Catalog is where all the information about images imported into Lightroom lives.  Folders are where the image files live.  Folders are not saved inside of Lightroom, but are stored somewhere on an internal or external hard drive.  When importing images into Lightroom, you specify where those images will be stored on your computer or an external hard drive.  Lightroom “remembers” where those images are saved and the directions for finding them are part of the Catalog.  This sounds confusing, but the folders are like any other folder on your computer.  The ones with your images just happen to be referenced by Lightroom so the images can be viewed and edited within the software.

Organization within Lightroom is key.  Jim Harmer just published an article on the Improve Photography website with some great tips for accomplishing this.  One big step in the organizational process is to develop a good folder structure.  There is a never-ending debate about how to set up folders and what to name them, but I won’t go into that here.  Choose a system that makes sense for your workflow and that works for you.

One tip that I would repeat is to keep all of your images within a single root folder.  You can name it simply “Photos” or be more creative and call it “MyAwesomePictures”.  It doesn’t really matter; just pick something and keep all images inside that folder.  Within that top tier folder is where you will have all the different subfolders that make up your folder structure.  For instance, I have a root folder named “Photos” (really creative, I know).  Within that folder, there is a subfolder for 2017, and within that is another folder titled Zion National Park.  The images that I captured in Zion last month are saved in that folder on an external hard drive.

 

Collections

Using Collections is a great way to take your image organization within Lightroom to another level.  There does, however, seem to be a lot of misunderstanding about what Collections are and how they work.  Think of Collections like the playlists on your MP3 player.  Just like adding songs to make a playlist, you add photos to a Collection.  The important thing to remember is that adding a photo to a Collection doesn’t mean the photo is copied to a new location.  The original image stays in the folder where it was placed when imported.  Adding it to a Collection gives you the ability to see the preview and reference the photo from that original folder location.  A single photo can be added to as many Collections as you want, and there will still only be one original image file.

The Collections panel is accessed on the left side of the Lightroom interface from any of the Lightroom Modules.  The Collections panel will be the last one on the list in that left toolbar.  If you don’t see the Collections panel, it can be revealed by right-clicking on any of the other panel names and selecting the option for it to be visible.  Bonus tip: Right-click on any of the panels and select Solo Mode.  That way, only one panel will be open at a time.  Once a new panel is opened, the previous one will close automatically, and keep the workspace clean and easier to navigate.  This feature is available for the panels on the right toolbar as well.

To create a Collection, click on the “+” sign to the right of the Collections tool panel, and choose the Create Collection option.  A window will pop up giving you the option to name the Collection.  There is also the option to place the Collection inside a Collection Set.  More on what a Collection Set is in a moment.  You can have all photos currently selected go into that Collection, set the new Collection as the target Collection, and sync the Collection with Lightroom mobile (for Adobe Creative Cloud users).  After naming the Collection, click create and it will show up in the list in the panel below.

 

Collections vs. Collection Sets

Collection Sets are just another way of organizing images.  A Collection is like a single album of photos that you select.  A Collection Set is like a box of photo albums.  Within a Collection Set can be multiple Collections.  There are a number of ways this can be utilized in your workflow. Take for instance an annual top ten image selection.  A Collection Set titled Top Ten is created.  Within that Collection Set, will be a Collection for candidates that will be populated throughout the year, titled 2017 Candidates.  As the end of the year approaches, that list will need to be narrowed down, so I will create a new Collection titled 2017 Picks for only my ten best images for the year.

 

Adding Photos to a Collection

Once a Collection is created, there are a few ways to populate it with images.  One way is to simply click on the image thumbnail in the library view or filmstrip and drag it to the desired Collection.  Again, keep in mind that you are not actually moving the image file.  Another way is to set a Collection as a target Collection.  To do this, right-click on a Collection in the list and select Set as Target Collection.  A little “+” symbol next to the Collection name will indicate it has been set as the target Collection.

 

 

To add a photo to a target Collection, right-click on the image and choose the Add to Target Collection option and the photo will be added.  Better yet, as you scroll through the images, simply press the “B” on the keyboard and the image will automatically be added to the target Collection. This is a very quick and easy way to add the photos you want.  Just don’t forget to change the target Collection before moving on to the next shoot.

As if that weren’t enough, there is yet another way to add images to a target Collection.  in the filmstrip, notice a small circle in the upper right hand corner of each thumbnail image.  Clicking that circle will add that image to the target Collection.

 

Smart Collections

Smart Collections are the same as Collections in that photos are added without changing their location.  They are set up very differently, however.  A Smart Collection is set up using a variety of filters so that all images matching the prescribed criteria are automatically added.  To create a Smart Collection, click on the “+” in the Collections panel and select Create Smart Collection.  A dialog box will appear to add the Smart Collection name and a number of filtering options.  Photos can be filtered by star rating, pick flags, color labels, file name, date, camera used, and many others.

 

The possibilities are nearly limitless for creating Smart Collections.  Let’s say that I want to place all images in a Smart Collection with the keyword sunset, taken in 2017 with my Fuji X-T1 camera.  After specifying the search criteria, select Create and BAM!  A Smart Collection is created and instantly populated with all images that match that criteria.  I could add even more filtering fields to narrow down the selections even more.  Another use case would be in choosing your very best images for the year.  If you don’t place these into a Collection throughout the year, but do star ratings, you’re in luck.  Simply create a Smart Collection to include all images captured in 2017 with a star rating of 5.  All of those images will automatically be added to the Smart Collection.

 

You may notice that there are already a few default Smart Collections in Lightroom.  In my version, there is a Collection Set titled Smart Collections.  Within that Collection Set are Smart Collections titled Colored Red, Five Stars, Past Month, Recently Modified, Video Files, and Without Keywords.  Your version of Lightroom may be different.  These default Smart Collections are being populated with all images that match these criteria.  Tip: You can change the selection criteria of a Smart Collection by right-clicking on it and choosing Edit Smart Collection.

 

Default Lightroom Smart Collections. I really have a lot of images without keywords!!

 

Quick Collection

Yes, there is even more!  This one is not even found in the Collections panel, so it may not be obvious what it is for.  It is located in the Catalog panel, which is only visible within the Library Module of Lightroom.  As the name implies, this is a quick way to sort out selected images without going through the process of creating a Collection (yet).  If none of the Collections or Smart Collections are set as the target collection, then the Quick Collection is targeted, and will have the little “+” symbol next to it.  Therefore, any image can be added to the Quick Collection by either right-clicking to select Add to Target Collection, pressing the “B” on the keyboard, or clicking the small circle in the upper right corner of the image in the filmstrip.

 

The Quick Collection is the default targeted collection if no other Collection is targeted.

After going through a shoot and adding all the images you want to a Quick Collection, that Quick Collection can then be saved as a regular Collection.  Right-click on Quick Collection and select Save Quick Collection.  The dialog box that pops up will ask for the name of the collection and will also give you option to clear the Quick Collection after it has been saved.

 

Saving the Quick Collection will create a new Collection with the selected images.

 

So Many Collections

As you might guess, the number of Collections can really add up.  Over time, as you keep adding images to Collections, you may actually forget where an original image file is located.  A quick way to locate it is to right-click on the image and select Go to Folder in Library.  You will be instantly transported to the folder in your Lightroom Catalog where that image resides.

One Big Caveat

It should be noted that, at least at this time, Collections are not written to image files and will not be recognizable in other software programs.  This may be an issue for some, but for me personally, I don’t find it to be a huge issue.  It doesn’t seem that Lightroom will be going away anytime soon, so my Collections appear to be safe for now.

In Conclusion

Hopefully this article has helped to clear up any confusion that may exist about the difference between folders and collections within Lightroom.  They can be very important tools to help get (and keep) your images organized as well as easy to find.  Starting with a good folder structure is a great first step in achieving this goal.  There is really no right or wrong way to how yours is set up; just find what works best for you and be consistent.

Collections are an extremely useful and powerful tool to use for image organization within your Lightroom Catalog.  Learning how to use them will help keep your images more manageable and easier to find.

The post Lightroom Folders vs. Collections: A Simple Explanation appeared first on Improve Photography.

How to Shoot and Stitch a Panorama Photo

Sometimes the landscape is just too big. Sometimes, just one image won’t do the trick. Then it’s time to create a panorama!

How to Create a Panorama photo

I’m fortunate to spend a lot of time in the grand landscapes of Alaska. But often, camera in hand, I’ve stood there, unable to create the image I wanted. There was just too much going on, or things were happening in a way that just didn’t match a typical single-image format. I was photographing along a gravel beach near Haines, Alaska this winter, while the alpenglow was lighting up the peaks across the inlet. The glaciers and spires were painted in peach light. Going super wide to capture it all, with my 14mm, made the mountains too small and distant, and left too much empty space. I wanted the details in the

I was photographing along a gravel beach near Haines, Alaska this winter, while the alpenglow was lighting up the peaks across the inlet (see image above). The glaciers and spires were painted in peach light. Going super wide to capture it all, with my 14mm, made the mountains too small and distant, and left too much empty space. I wanted the details in the mountains while maintaining a sense of the vast landscape. A panorama was the only way to go.

How to Create a Panorama Photo

Panoramas are hardly a novelty, Smartphones and many point and shoots can create them in-camera. But stitching together images from a DSLR or other high-resolution camera will yield better results if you do it right. Sadly, panoramas are easy to screw up. Here are a few tips for making an effective panorama from a series of images.

What lens to use to make a panorama

Making a panorama isn’t the time to use a wide angle lens. The optical distortion inherent in these lenses tends to mess with the process of stitching them together. Pick a standard lens or a short telephoto; something between 40mm and 100mm will work well, though I’ve occasionally gone as high as 200mm if the situation warrants.

How to Create a Panorama

Remove all filters from your lens, especially polarizers. They can cause gradations across an image that are impossible to work with later, so get that thing off your camera.

Cameras and settings

I shoot all panorama images in RAW format. This allows me greater flexibility in post-processing to make sure that exposures, white balance, and other settings match from one image to the next. That said if you are careful in-camera, and manually select all your settings from ISO to exposure and white balance, you can get by with JPGs.

How to Create a Panorama Photo

Exposure

Take a few sample shots of your subject. If you are shooting a landscape that varies in tones, meter off the brightest part of your scene and make the image as bright as possible without blowing out the highlights. Take note of those numbers (exposure settings), then using Manual Mode set your aperture and shutter speed accordingly.

How to Create a Panorama Photo

Focus

Turn off autofocus. As you pan across your scene, you don’t want your camera grabbing a new focus point each time. Set the focus so that your subject is sharp, then don’t touch it again until you’ve finished the series.

How to Create a Panorama Photo

White Balance

There are two options for white balance. The first, and easiest, is to set your white balance in camera, using one of the presets. Don’t use auto white balance, because the camera may decide each image varies slightly, and the colors will shift within the final panorama. Pick something appropriate and stick with it. The second option is to set the white balance of your RAW images in post-processing (see below).

How to Create a Panorama Photo

Making the images for the panorama

Composition

Almost all of my panoramas are created using vertically formatted photos (i.e. the camera is oriented vertically). First, this allows me to stitch together a greater number of photos for the same scene. Second, it allows me to compose with more negative at the top and bottom. This dead space is important to allow for cropping later.

Here is a series and final image to show you how I took the shots:

Notice how there is overlap from one image to the next, and they are all shot vertically. So nine images were stitched to make this final panorama image.

Shooting

How to Create a Panorama Photo

A level tripod is very useful, but not absolutely essential. If you are using a tripod, level it. With a level tripod, as you pan, your camera’s angle will not shift up and down. If you are hand-holding be very careful to keep your camera level as you move across your scene shooting your images for the panorama.

Start a full frame to the side of where you expect your final image to begin. This assures that you have some negative on the sides of the image. Then begin making your series as you pan right or left. Overlap each shot by between a third to one-half of the frame each time. The overlap is what allows the computer to detect which images go where and line them up, so make sure to leave plenty of overlap.

Move across the scene making as many images as necessary to fully capture the landscape. Take a breath.

How to Create a Panorama Photo

Post-processing your panorama

Continuity

In the computer (I use Lightroom), go through each your series and confirm that the white balance of each image is identical. If you shot in RAW, assuring white balance continuity is as easy as checking that they each have the same color tone. Check the numbers, if they aren’t all exactly the same, change them so that they match. If you set your white balance in camera, you can skip this step.

How to Create a Panorama Photo

Don’t edit the images separately, leave your photos as they are out of the camera (except to make sure the white balance is the same). Any additional post-processing is best done once the panorama has been created.

Stitching

There are many programs that can create panoramas. These include specialty programs like PTGui, which is designed to create enormous images involving hundreds of individual photos. However, both Photoshop and Lightroom have merge to panorama capabilities which work great in most situations. As an example, I’ll go through the steps in Lightroom:

Select your images by clicking the first one in your series, pressing and holding the Shift key, then selecting the final image. All the ones in between will now be selected as well.

Right-click (PC) or Control-Click (Mac) and select Photomerge > Panorama.

How to Create a Panorama Photo
A preview window will pop up offering three options; Spherical, Cylindrical, and Perspective. For most simple panoramas, Cylindrical will work, but feel free to click back and forth between these options to find the best option for your image. Click Merge.

How to Create a Panorama Photo

The stitched image will appear in your Lightroom Library, or as a new image in Photoshop. The result will likely have some jagged edges from your base images not quite lining up. Select the crop tool and cut the jagged edges away. (This is why the negative space I noted earlier is so important.) Note: you can also check off “Auto Crop” in the panorama popup box and it will be done automatically for you. 

Once you’ve got your image cropped you can post-process as you would any other photo in your collection.

How to Create a Panorama Photo

Conclusion

Panoramic photos, while definitely not the best option in all scenarios are a great tool to keep in mind for those moments when a landscape is just too big, too dramatic, or too epic to be captured in a single photo. When I first started shooting panoramas many years ago, I regularly overlooked simple things like remembering to remove my polarizer, or failing to assure the same white balance from image to image. Screw up a setting or forget a filter and the final image just won’t work, and there is nothing you can do about it. Pay attention to those annoying little details and you won’t miss your chance to create some epic panorama images.

Do you shoot panoramas? If so, show them off below, or share some of your own tips for success.

The post How to Shoot and Stitch a Panorama Photo by David Shaw appeared first on Digital Photography School.

How to Shoot and Stitch a Panorama Photo

Sometimes the landscape is just too big. Sometimes, just one image won’t do the trick. Then it’s time to create a panorama!

How to Create a Panorama photo

I’m fortunate to spend a lot of time in the grand landscapes of Alaska. But often, camera in hand, I’ve stood there, unable to create the image I wanted. There was just too much going on, or things were happening in a way that just didn’t match a typical single-image format. I was photographing along a gravel beach near Haines, Alaska this winter, while the alpenglow was lighting up the peaks across the inlet. The glaciers and spires were painted in peach light. Going super wide to capture it all, with my 14mm, made the mountains too small and distant, and left too much empty space. I wanted the details in the

I was photographing along a gravel beach near Haines, Alaska this winter, while the alpenglow was lighting up the peaks across the inlet (see image above). The glaciers and spires were painted in peach light. Going super wide to capture it all, with my 14mm, made the mountains too small and distant, and left too much empty space. I wanted the details in the mountains while maintaining a sense of the vast landscape. A panorama was the only way to go.

How to Create a Panorama Photo

Panoramas are hardly a novelty, Smartphones and many point and shoots can create them in-camera. But stitching together images from a DSLR or other high-resolution camera will yield better results if you do it right. Sadly, panoramas are easy to screw up. Here are a few tips for making an effective panorama from a series of images.

What lens to use to make a panorama

Making a panorama isn’t the time to use a wide angle lens. The optical distortion inherent in these lenses tends to mess with the process of stitching them together. Pick a standard lens or a short telephoto; something between 40mm and 100mm will work well, though I’ve occasionally gone as high as 200mm if the situation warrants.

How to Create a Panorama

Remove all filters from your lens, especially polarizers. They can cause gradations across an image that are impossible to work with later, so get that thing off your camera.

Cameras and settings

I shoot all panorama images in RAW format. This allows me greater flexibility in post-processing to make sure that exposures, white balance, and other settings match from one image to the next. That said if you are careful in-camera, and manually select all your settings from ISO to exposure and white balance, you can get by with JPGs.

How to Create a Panorama Photo

Exposure

Take a few sample shots of your subject. If you are shooting a landscape that varies in tones, meter off the brightest part of your scene and make the image as bright as possible without blowing out the highlights. Take note of those numbers (exposure settings), then using Manual Mode set your aperture and shutter speed accordingly.

How to Create a Panorama Photo

Focus

Turn off autofocus. As you pan across your scene, you don’t want your camera grabbing a new focus point each time. Set the focus so that your subject is sharp, then don’t touch it again until you’ve finished the series.

How to Create a Panorama Photo

White Balance

There are two options for white balance. The first, and easiest, is to set your white balance in camera, using one of the presets. Don’t use auto white balance, because the camera may decide each image varies slightly, and the colors will shift within the final panorama. Pick something appropriate and stick with it. The second option is to set the white balance of your RAW images in post-processing (see below).

How to Create a Panorama Photo

Making the images for the panorama

Composition

Almost all of my panoramas are created using vertically formatted photos (i.e. the camera is oriented vertically). First, this allows me to stitch together a greater number of photos for the same scene. Second, it allows me to compose with more negative at the top and bottom. This dead space is important to allow for cropping later.

Here is a series and final image to show you how I took the shots:

Notice how there is overlap from one image to the next, and they are all shot vertically. So nine images were stitched to make this final panorama image.

Shooting

How to Create a Panorama Photo

A level tripod is very useful, but not absolutely essential. If you are using a tripod, level it. With a level tripod, as you pan, your camera’s angle will not shift up and down. If you are hand-holding be very careful to keep your camera level as you move across your scene shooting your images for the panorama.

Start a full frame to the side of where you expect your final image to begin. This assures that you have some negative on the sides of the image. Then begin making your series as you pan right or left. Overlap each shot by between a third to one-half of the frame each time. The overlap is what allows the computer to detect which images go where and line them up, so make sure to leave plenty of overlap.

Move across the scene making as many images as necessary to fully capture the landscape. Take a breath.

How to Create a Panorama Photo

Post-processing your panorama

Continuity

In the computer (I use Lightroom), go through each your series and confirm that the white balance of each image is identical. If you shot in RAW, assuring white balance continuity is as easy as checking that they each have the same color tone. Check the numbers, if they aren’t all exactly the same, change them so that they match. If you set your white balance in camera, you can skip this step.

How to Create a Panorama Photo

Don’t edit the images separately, leave your photos as they are out of the camera (except to make sure the white balance is the same). Any additional post-processing is best done once the panorama has been created.

Stitching

There are many programs that can create panoramas. These include specialty programs like PTGui, which is designed to create enormous images involving hundreds of individual photos. However, both Photoshop and Lightroom have merge to panorama capabilities which work great in most situations. As an example, I’ll go through the steps in Lightroom:

Select your images by clicking the first one in your series, pressing and holding the Shift key, then selecting the final image. All the ones in between will now be selected as well.

Right-click (PC) or Control-Click (Mac) and select Photomerge > Panorama.

How to Create a Panorama Photo
A preview window will pop up offering three options; Spherical, Cylindrical, and Perspective. For most simple panoramas, Cylindrical will work, but feel free to click back and forth between these options to find the best option for your image. Click Merge.

How to Create a Panorama Photo

The stitched image will appear in your Lightroom Library, or as a new image in Photoshop. The result will likely have some jagged edges from your base images not quite lining up. Select the crop tool and cut the jagged edges away. (This is why the negative space I noted earlier is so important.) Note: you can also check off “Auto Crop” in the panorama popup box and it will be done automatically for you. 

Once you’ve got your image cropped you can post-process as you would any other photo in your collection.

How to Create a Panorama Photo

Conclusion

Panoramic photos, while definitely not the best option in all scenarios are a great tool to keep in mind for those moments when a landscape is just too big, too dramatic, or too epic to be captured in a single photo. When I first started shooting panoramas many years ago, I regularly overlooked simple things like remembering to remove my polarizer, or failing to assure the same white balance from image to image. Screw up a setting or forget a filter and the final image just won’t work, and there is nothing you can do about it. Pay attention to those annoying little details and you won’t miss your chance to create some epic panorama images.

Do you shoot panoramas? If so, show them off below, or share some of your own tips for success.

The post How to Shoot and Stitch a Panorama Photo by David Shaw appeared first on Digital Photography School.

How to Shoot and Stitch a Panorama Photo

Sometimes the landscape is just too big. Sometimes, just one image won’t do the trick. Then it’s time to create a panorama!

How to Create a Panorama photo

I’m fortunate to spend a lot of time in the grand landscapes of Alaska. But often, camera in hand, I’ve stood there, unable to create the image I wanted. There was just too much going on, or things were happening in a way that just didn’t match a typical single-image format. I was photographing along a gravel beach near Haines, Alaska this winter, while the alpenglow was lighting up the peaks across the inlet. The glaciers and spires were painted in peach light. Going super wide to capture it all, with my 14mm, made the mountains too small and distant, and left too much empty space. I wanted the details in the

I was photographing along a gravel beach near Haines, Alaska this winter, while the alpenglow was lighting up the peaks across the inlet (see image above). The glaciers and spires were painted in peach light. Going super wide to capture it all, with my 14mm, made the mountains too small and distant, and left too much empty space. I wanted the details in the mountains while maintaining a sense of the vast landscape. A panorama was the only way to go.

How to Create a Panorama Photo

Panoramas are hardly a novelty, Smartphones and many point and shoots can create them in-camera. But stitching together images from a DSLR or other high-resolution camera will yield better results if you do it right. Sadly, panoramas are easy to screw up. Here are a few tips for making an effective panorama from a series of images.

What lens to use to make a panorama

Making a panorama isn’t the time to use a wide angle lens. The optical distortion inherent in these lenses tends to mess with the process of stitching them together. Pick a standard lens or a short telephoto; something between 40mm and 100mm will work well, though I’ve occasionally gone as high as 200mm if the situation warrants.

How to Create a Panorama

Remove all filters from your lens, especially polarizers. They can cause gradations across an image that are impossible to work with later, so get that thing off your camera.

Cameras and settings

I shoot all panorama images in RAW format. This allows me greater flexibility in post-processing to make sure that exposures, white balance, and other settings match from one image to the next. That said if you are careful in-camera, and manually select all your settings from ISO to exposure and white balance, you can get by with JPGs.

How to Create a Panorama Photo

Exposure

Take a few sample shots of your subject. If you are shooting a landscape that varies in tones, meter off the brightest part of your scene and make the image as bright as possible without blowing out the highlights. Take note of those numbers (exposure settings), then using Manual Mode set your aperture and shutter speed accordingly.

How to Create a Panorama Photo

Focus

Turn off autofocus. As you pan across your scene, you don’t want your camera grabbing a new focus point each time. Set the focus so that your subject is sharp, then don’t touch it again until you’ve finished the series.

How to Create a Panorama Photo

White Balance

There are two options for white balance. The first, and easiest, is to set your white balance in camera, using one of the presets. Don’t use auto white balance, because the camera may decide each image varies slightly, and the colors will shift within the final panorama. Pick something appropriate and stick with it. The second option is to set the white balance of your RAW images in post-processing (see below).

How to Create a Panorama Photo

Making the images for the panorama

Composition

Almost all of my panoramas are created using vertically formatted photos (i.e. the camera is oriented vertically). First, this allows me to stitch together a greater number of photos for the same scene. Second, it allows me to compose with more negative at the top and bottom. This dead space is important to allow for cropping later.

Here is a series and final image to show you how I took the shots:

Notice how there is overlap from one image to the next, and they are all shot vertically. So nine images were stitched to make this final panorama image.

Shooting

How to Create a Panorama Photo

A level tripod is very useful, but not absolutely essential. If you are using a tripod, level it. With a level tripod, as you pan, your camera’s angle will not shift up and down. If you are hand-holding be very careful to keep your camera level as you move across your scene shooting your images for the panorama.

Start a full frame to the side of where you expect your final image to begin. This assures that you have some negative on the sides of the image. Then begin making your series as you pan right or left. Overlap each shot by between a third to one-half of the frame each time. The overlap is what allows the computer to detect which images go where and line them up, so make sure to leave plenty of overlap.

Move across the scene making as many images as necessary to fully capture the landscape. Take a breath.

How to Create a Panorama Photo

Post-processing your panorama

Continuity

In the computer (I use Lightroom), go through each your series and confirm that the white balance of each image is identical. If you shot in RAW, assuring white balance continuity is as easy as checking that they each have the same color tone. Check the numbers, if they aren’t all exactly the same, change them so that they match. If you set your white balance in camera, you can skip this step.

How to Create a Panorama Photo

Don’t edit the images separately, leave your photos as they are out of the camera (except to make sure the white balance is the same). Any additional post-processing is best done once the panorama has been created.

Stitching

There are many programs that can create panoramas. These include specialty programs like PTGui, which is designed to create enormous images involving hundreds of individual photos. However, both Photoshop and Lightroom have merge to panorama capabilities which work great in most situations. As an example, I’ll go through the steps in Lightroom:

Select your images by clicking the first one in your series, pressing and holding the Shift key, then selecting the final image. All the ones in between will now be selected as well.

Right-click (PC) or Control-Click (Mac) and select Photomerge > Panorama.

How to Create a Panorama Photo
A preview window will pop up offering three options; Spherical, Cylindrical, and Perspective. For most simple panoramas, Cylindrical will work, but feel free to click back and forth between these options to find the best option for your image. Click Merge.

How to Create a Panorama Photo

The stitched image will appear in your Lightroom Library, or as a new image in Photoshop. The result will likely have some jagged edges from your base images not quite lining up. Select the crop tool and cut the jagged edges away. (This is why the negative space I noted earlier is so important.) Note: you can also check off “Auto Crop” in the panorama popup box and it will be done automatically for you. 

Once you’ve got your image cropped you can post-process as you would any other photo in your collection.

How to Create a Panorama Photo

Conclusion

Panoramic photos, while definitely not the best option in all scenarios are a great tool to keep in mind for those moments when a landscape is just too big, too dramatic, or too epic to be captured in a single photo. When I first started shooting panoramas many years ago, I regularly overlooked simple things like remembering to remove my polarizer, or failing to assure the same white balance from image to image. Screw up a setting or forget a filter and the final image just won’t work, and there is nothing you can do about it. Pay attention to those annoying little details and you won’t miss your chance to create some epic panorama images.

Do you shoot panoramas? If so, show them off below, or share some of your own tips for success.

The post How to Shoot and Stitch a Panorama Photo by David Shaw appeared first on Digital Photography School.

How to Shoot and Stitch a Panorama Photo

Sometimes the landscape is just too big. Sometimes, just one image won’t do the trick. Then it’s time to create a panorama!

How to Create a Panorama photo

I’m fortunate to spend a lot of time in the grand landscapes of Alaska. But often, camera in hand, I’ve stood there, unable to create the image I wanted. There was just too much going on, or things were happening in a way that just didn’t match a typical single-image format. I was photographing along a gravel beach near Haines, Alaska this winter, while the alpenglow was lighting up the peaks across the inlet. The glaciers and spires were painted in peach light. Going super wide to capture it all, with my 14mm, made the mountains too small and distant, and left too much empty space. I wanted the details in the

I was photographing along a gravel beach near Haines, Alaska this winter, while the alpenglow was lighting up the peaks across the inlet (see image above). The glaciers and spires were painted in peach light. Going super wide to capture it all, with my 14mm, made the mountains too small and distant, and left too much empty space. I wanted the details in the mountains while maintaining a sense of the vast landscape. A panorama was the only way to go.

How to Create a Panorama Photo

Panoramas are hardly a novelty, Smartphones and many point and shoots can create them in-camera. But stitching together images from a DSLR or other high-resolution camera will yield better results if you do it right. Sadly, panoramas are easy to screw up. Here are a few tips for making an effective panorama from a series of images.

What lens to use to make a panorama

Making a panorama isn’t the time to use a wide angle lens. The optical distortion inherent in these lenses tends to mess with the process of stitching them together. Pick a standard lens or a short telephoto; something between 40mm and 100mm will work well, though I’ve occasionally gone as high as 200mm if the situation warrants.

How to Create a Panorama

Remove all filters from your lens, especially polarizers. They can cause gradations across an image that are impossible to work with later, so get that thing off your camera.

Cameras and settings

I shoot all panorama images in RAW format. This allows me greater flexibility in post-processing to make sure that exposures, white balance, and other settings match from one image to the next. That said if you are careful in-camera, and manually select all your settings from ISO to exposure and white balance, you can get by with JPGs.

How to Create a Panorama Photo

Exposure

Take a few sample shots of your subject. If you are shooting a landscape that varies in tones, meter off the brightest part of your scene and make the image as bright as possible without blowing out the highlights. Take note of those numbers (exposure settings), then using Manual Mode set your aperture and shutter speed accordingly.

How to Create a Panorama Photo

Focus

Turn off autofocus. As you pan across your scene, you don’t want your camera grabbing a new focus point each time. Set the focus so that your subject is sharp, then don’t touch it again until you’ve finished the series.

How to Create a Panorama Photo

White Balance

There are two options for white balance. The first, and easiest, is to set your white balance in camera, using one of the presets. Don’t use auto white balance, because the camera may decide each image varies slightly, and the colors will shift within the final panorama. Pick something appropriate and stick with it. The second option is to set the white balance of your RAW images in post-processing (see below).

How to Create a Panorama Photo

Making the images for the panorama

Composition

Almost all of my panoramas are created using vertically formatted photos (i.e. the camera is oriented vertically). First, this allows me to stitch together a greater number of photos for the same scene. Second, it allows me to compose with more negative at the top and bottom. This dead space is important to allow for cropping later.

Here is a series and final image to show you how I took the shots:

Notice how there is overlap from one image to the next, and they are all shot vertically. So nine images were stitched to make this final panorama image.

Shooting

How to Create a Panorama Photo

A level tripod is very useful, but not absolutely essential. If you are using a tripod, level it. With a level tripod, as you pan, your camera’s angle will not shift up and down. If you are hand-holding be very careful to keep your camera level as you move across your scene shooting your images for the panorama.

Start a full frame to the side of where you expect your final image to begin. This assures that you have some negative on the sides of the image. Then begin making your series as you pan right or left. Overlap each shot by between a third to one-half of the frame each time. The overlap is what allows the computer to detect which images go where and line them up, so make sure to leave plenty of overlap.

Move across the scene making as many images as necessary to fully capture the landscape. Take a breath.

How to Create a Panorama Photo

Post-processing your panorama

Continuity

In the computer (I use Lightroom), go through each your series and confirm that the white balance of each image is identical. If you shot in RAW, assuring white balance continuity is as easy as checking that they each have the same color tone. Check the numbers, if they aren’t all exactly the same, change them so that they match. If you set your white balance in camera, you can skip this step.

How to Create a Panorama Photo

Don’t edit the images separately, leave your photos as they are out of the camera (except to make sure the white balance is the same). Any additional post-processing is best done once the panorama has been created.

Stitching

There are many programs that can create panoramas. These include specialty programs like PTGui, which is designed to create enormous images involving hundreds of individual photos. However, both Photoshop and Lightroom have merge to panorama capabilities which work great in most situations. As an example, I’ll go through the steps in Lightroom:

Select your images by clicking the first one in your series, pressing and holding the Shift key, then selecting the final image. All the ones in between will now be selected as well.

Right-click (PC) or Control-Click (Mac) and select Photomerge > Panorama.

How to Create a Panorama Photo
A preview window will pop up offering three options; Spherical, Cylindrical, and Perspective. For most simple panoramas, Cylindrical will work, but feel free to click back and forth between these options to find the best option for your image. Click Merge.

How to Create a Panorama Photo

The stitched image will appear in your Lightroom Library, or as a new image in Photoshop. The result will likely have some jagged edges from your base images not quite lining up. Select the crop tool and cut the jagged edges away. (This is why the negative space I noted earlier is so important.) Note: you can also check off “Auto Crop” in the panorama popup box and it will be done automatically for you. 

Once you’ve got your image cropped you can post-process as you would any other photo in your collection.

How to Create a Panorama Photo

Conclusion

Panoramic photos, while definitely not the best option in all scenarios are a great tool to keep in mind for those moments when a landscape is just too big, too dramatic, or too epic to be captured in a single photo. When I first started shooting panoramas many years ago, I regularly overlooked simple things like remembering to remove my polarizer, or failing to assure the same white balance from image to image. Screw up a setting or forget a filter and the final image just won’t work, and there is nothing you can do about it. Pay attention to those annoying little details and you won’t miss your chance to create some epic panorama images.

Do you shoot panoramas? If so, show them off below, or share some of your own tips for success.

The post How to Shoot and Stitch a Panorama Photo by David Shaw appeared first on Digital Photography School.

How to Shoot and Stitch a Panorama Photo

Sometimes the landscape is just too big. Sometimes, just one image won’t do the trick. Then it’s time to create a panorama!

How to Create a Panorama photo

I’m fortunate to spend a lot of time in the grand landscapes of Alaska. But often, camera in hand, I’ve stood there, unable to create the image I wanted. There was just too much going on, or things were happening in a way that just didn’t match a typical single-image format. I was photographing along a gravel beach near Haines, Alaska this winter, while the alpenglow was lighting up the peaks across the inlet. The glaciers and spires were painted in peach light. Going super wide to capture it all, with my 14mm, made the mountains too small and distant, and left too much empty space. I wanted the details in the

I was photographing along a gravel beach near Haines, Alaska this winter, while the alpenglow was lighting up the peaks across the inlet (see image above). The glaciers and spires were painted in peach light. Going super wide to capture it all, with my 14mm, made the mountains too small and distant, and left too much empty space. I wanted the details in the mountains while maintaining a sense of the vast landscape. A panorama was the only way to go.

How to Create a Panorama Photo

Panoramas are hardly a novelty, Smartphones and many point and shoots can create them in-camera. But stitching together images from a DSLR or other high-resolution camera will yield better results if you do it right. Sadly, panoramas are easy to screw up. Here are a few tips for making an effective panorama from a series of images.

What lens to use to make a panorama

Making a panorama isn’t the time to use a wide angle lens. The optical distortion inherent in these lenses tends to mess with the process of stitching them together. Pick a standard lens or a short telephoto; something between 40mm and 100mm will work well, though I’ve occasionally gone as high as 200mm if the situation warrants.

How to Create a Panorama

Remove all filters from your lens, especially polarizers. They can cause gradations across an image that are impossible to work with later, so get that thing off your camera.

Cameras and settings

I shoot all panorama images in RAW format. This allows me greater flexibility in post-processing to make sure that exposures, white balance, and other settings match from one image to the next. That said if you are careful in-camera, and manually select all your settings from ISO to exposure and white balance, you can get by with JPGs.

How to Create a Panorama Photo

Exposure

Take a few sample shots of your subject. If you are shooting a landscape that varies in tones, meter off the brightest part of your scene and make the image as bright as possible without blowing out the highlights. Take note of those numbers (exposure settings), then using Manual Mode set your aperture and shutter speed accordingly.

How to Create a Panorama Photo

Focus

Turn off autofocus. As you pan across your scene, you don’t want your camera grabbing a new focus point each time. Set the focus so that your subject is sharp, then don’t touch it again until you’ve finished the series.

How to Create a Panorama Photo

White Balance

There are two options for white balance. The first, and easiest, is to set your white balance in camera, using one of the presets. Don’t use auto white balance, because the camera may decide each image varies slightly, and the colors will shift within the final panorama. Pick something appropriate and stick with it. The second option is to set the white balance of your RAW images in post-processing (see below).

How to Create a Panorama Photo

Making the images for the panorama

Composition

Almost all of my panoramas are created using vertically formatted photos (i.e. the camera is oriented vertically). First, this allows me to stitch together a greater number of photos for the same scene. Second, it allows me to compose with more negative at the top and bottom. This dead space is important to allow for cropping later.

Here is a series and final image to show you how I took the shots:

Notice how there is overlap from one image to the next, and they are all shot vertically. So nine images were stitched to make this final panorama image.

Shooting

How to Create a Panorama Photo

A level tripod is very useful, but not absolutely essential. If you are using a tripod, level it. With a level tripod, as you pan, your camera’s angle will not shift up and down. If you are hand-holding be very careful to keep your camera level as you move across your scene shooting your images for the panorama.

Start a full frame to the side of where you expect your final image to begin. This assures that you have some negative on the sides of the image. Then begin making your series as you pan right or left. Overlap each shot by between a third to one-half of the frame each time. The overlap is what allows the computer to detect which images go where and line them up, so make sure to leave plenty of overlap.

Move across the scene making as many images as necessary to fully capture the landscape. Take a breath.

How to Create a Panorama Photo

Post-processing your panorama

Continuity

In the computer (I use Lightroom), go through each your series and confirm that the white balance of each image is identical. If you shot in RAW, assuring white balance continuity is as easy as checking that they each have the same color tone. Check the numbers, if they aren’t all exactly the same, change them so that they match. If you set your white balance in camera, you can skip this step.

How to Create a Panorama Photo

Don’t edit the images separately, leave your photos as they are out of the camera (except to make sure the white balance is the same). Any additional post-processing is best done once the panorama has been created.

Stitching

There are many programs that can create panoramas. These include specialty programs like PTGui, which is designed to create enormous images involving hundreds of individual photos. However, both Photoshop and Lightroom have merge to panorama capabilities which work great in most situations. As an example, I’ll go through the steps in Lightroom:

Select your images by clicking the first one in your series, pressing and holding the Shift key, then selecting the final image. All the ones in between will now be selected as well.

Right-click (PC) or Control-Click (Mac) and select Photomerge > Panorama.

How to Create a Panorama Photo
A preview window will pop up offering three options; Spherical, Cylindrical, and Perspective. For most simple panoramas, Cylindrical will work, but feel free to click back and forth between these options to find the best option for your image. Click Merge.

How to Create a Panorama Photo

The stitched image will appear in your Lightroom Library, or as a new image in Photoshop. The result will likely have some jagged edges from your base images not quite lining up. Select the crop tool and cut the jagged edges away. (This is why the negative space I noted earlier is so important.) Note: you can also check off “Auto Crop” in the panorama popup box and it will be done automatically for you. 

Once you’ve got your image cropped you can post-process as you would any other photo in your collection.

How to Create a Panorama Photo

Conclusion

Panoramic photos, while definitely not the best option in all scenarios are a great tool to keep in mind for those moments when a landscape is just too big, too dramatic, or too epic to be captured in a single photo. When I first started shooting panoramas many years ago, I regularly overlooked simple things like remembering to remove my polarizer, or failing to assure the same white balance from image to image. Screw up a setting or forget a filter and the final image just won’t work, and there is nothing you can do about it. Pay attention to those annoying little details and you won’t miss your chance to create some epic panorama images.

Do you shoot panoramas? If so, show them off below, or share some of your own tips for success.

The post How to Shoot and Stitch a Panorama Photo by David Shaw appeared first on Digital Photography School.

The Crazy Ways We Look Back: The Era of Film Photography

The film photography era. It is the land that time forgot. Then remembered. Filmland, that mythical place trapped between the time of oils and watercolors and the days of binary code.

It is a place where strange beasts roamed with odd looking cameras and very strange memory cards with names like Ektachrome. I am talking of course about the film era, and more specifically its revival.

It sometimes seems like anything good from the past gets the modern day retro treatment, Mini Coopers, The Rolling Stones, there is even hope for my own hairstyle.

Film has been going through a not undeserved revival fuelled by low camera prices and film manufacturing startups. Even Kodak a company who so famously took its eye off the digital ball seems to think it might be backing a winner this time.

So who are the strange creatures that roam this celluloid utopia? Come with me and take a slightly wry walk with dinosaurs.

FREE MODERN-DAY BONUS: Back to the digital age, we’re using computers in rooms lit with light bulbs and post processing software. Download our free Lightroom Shortcuts Cheat Sheet and discover how you can speed up your workflow! Download it here.

The T-Max Rex

One of the most fearsome of analog creatures, you smell the T-Max Rex long before you see him. Their stench comes from the slightly acidic fetor of stop bath.

The T-Max spends much of its waking life in darkened rooms processing their beloved black and white film. They live in a land of pushing and pulling, dodging and burning. To them, grain is an aesthetic quality, not something you make whiskey from.

The T-Max is only able to see in monochrome, although often wears a pair of red sunglasses.

The T-Max Rex’s cave, the darkroom. By Mathias Pastwa

The Bronicasauraus

This large beast wanders the medium format world. Their size comes from having to carry excessively large cameras, lenses, backs, viewfinders and other associated 120mm paraphernalia.

They are often seen in the company of Tripodosops, these gangly three legged creatures playing host to the Bronnie’s excessive camera weight. The Bronicasauras, despite its size, has evolved highly dexterous forehands, used to load and rewind its finicky film.

Its saliva is amongst the stickiest of the film dinosaurs, it is rare that a roll of 120 film comes unraveled.

Bronicasuarus and Tripodosop together. By Ed Brambley

The Westopsians

These strange creatures have evolved a highly sensitive third optical system for measuring the levels of light. As well as their two forward facing eyes, they carry a third eye in a leather pouch.

The Westopsian’s third eye is made distinctive by white plastic eyelid that allows it to switch from reflected to incident light reading.

Westopsians have often become so adept at reading the light that they often ditch the third eye and accurately judge the light with their front facing sensors only.

The large third eye of a Westopsian. By Steve Rainwater

FREE DOWNLOAD FOR READERS: Back to the digital age, we’re using computers in rooms lit with light bulbs and post processing software. Download our free Lightroom Shortcuts Cheat Sheet and discover how you can speed up your workflow! Download it here.

Leicators

Leicators are generally found only in the urban environment. These street predators are fast agile and can spot their prey from a considerable distance.

They commonly feast on Homo Sapiens caught in compromising situations. They capture their prey by remaining motionless and camouflaged before rapidly shooting their victims as they do something silly. The Leicator then merges back into its urban environment.

A Leicator in it’s natural environment. By Raúl González

The Canosaurus.

These beasts are found in many environments, often rutting with Nikonopods for local dominance.

The rivalry between these two has been long and bitter. For many years the Nikonopods despite being smaller held the greater territory, but the larger Canosaurus has fought back.

The most evolved Canosuarus’s from the subspecies EOS have distinctive large white eyes and are direct descendants of modern digital versions.

Chromapods

Chromapods see the world in bright vibrant colors. They take only transparencies, often having to process them in their specially converted nests.

There are several subspecies of Chromapods. Kodakites, had exceptionally sharp eyesight but are now extinct. Ektatites seeing the world with a slightly muted blue cast whilst Fujitites see very vibrant almost unnatural colors.

All Chromapods are on the endangered list, their natural environment having been severely diminished.

All that remains of Kodakites are fossils. By pittaya

Metzopsians

Metzopsians are strange creatures. They inhabit a world of low light or in some cases, complete darkness.

They find their way around by emitting very brief, incredibly blue flashes of light. They can identify their prey by the red light reflecting from their retinas and the harsh shadows across they prey’s face.

A further evolution is the Bounced Metzopsian. This creature uses subtle lighting to illuminate an entire room full of potential prey.

So there you have it. A silly satirical walk with the dinosaurs of film. Are their any inhabitants in Jurassic Park we might have missed out?

FREE BONUS: Back to the digital age, we’re using computers in rooms lit with light bulbs and post processing software. Download our free Lightroom Shortcuts Cheat Sheet and discover how you can speed up your workflow! Download it here.

Further Resources

The post The Crazy Ways We Look Back: The Era of Film Photography appeared first on Light Stalking.

The Crazy Ways We Look Back: The Era of Film Photography

The film photography era. It is the land that time forgot. Then remembered. Filmland, that mythical place trapped between the time of oils and watercolors and the days of binary code.

It is a place where strange beasts roamed with odd looking cameras and very strange memory cards with names like Ektachrome. I am talking of course about the film era, and more specifically its revival.

It sometimes seems like anything good from the past gets the modern day retro treatment, Mini Coopers, The Rolling Stones, there is even hope for my own hairstyle.

Film has been going through a not undeserved revival fuelled by low camera prices and film manufacturing startups. Even Kodak a company who so famously took its eye off the digital ball seems to think it might be backing a winner this time.

So who are the strange creatures that roam this celluloid utopia? Come with me and take a slightly wry walk with dinosaurs.

FREE MODERN-DAY BONUS: Back to the digital age, we’re using computers in rooms lit with light bulbs and post processing software. Download our free Lightroom Shortcuts Cheat Sheet and discover how you can speed up your workflow! Download it here.

The T-Max Rex

One of the most fearsome of analog creatures, you smell the T-Max Rex long before you see him. Their stench comes from the slightly acidic fetor of stop bath.

The T-Max spends much of its waking life in darkened rooms processing their beloved black and white film. They live in a land of pushing and pulling, dodging and burning. To them, grain is an aesthetic quality, not something you make whiskey from.

The T-Max is only able to see in monochrome, although often wears a pair of red sunglasses.

The T-Max Rex’s cave, the darkroom. By Mathias Pastwa

The Bronicasauraus

This large beast wanders the medium format world. Their size comes from having to carry excessively large cameras, lenses, backs, viewfinders and other associated 120mm paraphernalia.

They are often seen in the company of Tripodosops, these gangly three legged creatures playing host to the Bronnie’s excessive camera weight. The Bronicasauras, despite its size, has evolved highly dexterous forehands, used to load and rewind its finicky film.

Its saliva is amongst the stickiest of the film dinosaurs, it is rare that a roll of 120 film comes unraveled.

Bronicasuarus and Tripodosop together. By Ed Brambley

The Westopsians

These strange creatures have evolved a highly sensitive third optical system for measuring the levels of light. As well as their two forward facing eyes, they carry a third eye in a leather pouch.

The Westopsian’s third eye is made distinctive by white plastic eyelid that allows it to switch from reflected to incident light reading.

Westopsians have often become so adept at reading the light that they often ditch the third eye and accurately judge the light with their front facing sensors only.

The large third eye of a Westopsian. By Steve Rainwater

FREE DOWNLOAD FOR READERS: Back to the digital age, we’re using computers in rooms lit with light bulbs and post processing software. Download our free Lightroom Shortcuts Cheat Sheet and discover how you can speed up your workflow! Download it here.

Leicators

Leicators are generally found only in the urban environment. These street predators are fast agile and can spot their prey from a considerable distance.

They commonly feast on Homo Sapiens caught in compromising situations. They capture their prey by remaining motionless and camouflaged before rapidly shooting their victims as they do something silly. The Leicator then merges back into its urban environment.

A Leicator in it’s natural environment. By Raúl González

The Canosaurus.

These beasts are found in many environments, often rutting with Nikonopods for local dominance.

The rivalry between these two has been long and bitter. For many years the Nikonopods despite being smaller held the greater territory, but the larger Canosaurus has fought back.

The most evolved Canosuarus’s from the subspecies EOS have distinctive large white eyes and are direct descendants of modern digital versions.

Chromapods

Chromapods see the world in bright vibrant colors. They take only transparencies, often having to process them in their specially converted nests.

There are several subspecies of Chromapods. Kodakites, had exceptionally sharp eyesight but are now extinct. Ektatites seeing the world with a slightly muted blue cast whilst Fujitites see very vibrant almost unnatural colors.

All Chromapods are on the endangered list, their natural environment having been severely diminished.

All that remains of Kodakites are fossils. By pittaya

Metzopsians

Metzopsians are strange creatures. They inhabit a world of low light or in some cases, complete darkness.

They find their way around by emitting very brief, incredibly blue flashes of light. They can identify their prey by the red light reflecting from their retinas and the harsh shadows across they prey’s face.

A further evolution is the Bounced Metzopsian. This creature uses subtle lighting to illuminate an entire room full of potential prey.

So there you have it. A silly satirical walk with the dinosaurs of film. Are their any inhabitants in Jurassic Park we might have missed out?

FREE BONUS: Back to the digital age, we’re using computers in rooms lit with light bulbs and post processing software. Download our free Lightroom Shortcuts Cheat Sheet and discover how you can speed up your workflow! Download it here.

Further Resources

The post The Crazy Ways We Look Back: The Era of Film Photography appeared first on Light Stalking.

The Crazy Ways We Look Back: The Era of Film Photography

The film photography era. It is the land that time forgot. Then remembered. Filmland, that mythical place trapped between the time of oils and watercolors and the days of binary code.

It is a place where strange beasts roamed with odd looking cameras and very strange memory cards with names like Ektachrome. I am talking of course about the film era, and more specifically its revival.

It sometimes seems like anything good from the past gets the modern day retro treatment, Mini Coopers, The Rolling Stones, there is even hope for my own hairstyle.

Film has been going through a not undeserved revival fuelled by low camera prices and film manufacturing startups. Even Kodak a company who so famously took its eye off the digital ball seems to think it might be backing a winner this time.

So who are the strange creatures that roam this celluloid utopia? Come with me and take a slightly wry walk with dinosaurs.

FREE MODERN-DAY BONUS: Back to the digital age, we’re using computers in rooms lit with light bulbs and post processing software. Download our free Lightroom Shortcuts Cheat Sheet and discover how you can speed up your workflow! Download it here.

The T-Max Rex

One of the most fearsome of analog creatures, you smell the T-Max Rex long before you see him. Their stench comes from the slightly acidic fetor of stop bath.

The T-Max spends much of its waking life in darkened rooms processing their beloved black and white film. They live in a land of pushing and pulling, dodging and burning. To them, grain is an aesthetic quality, not something you make whiskey from.

The T-Max is only able to see in monochrome, although often wears a pair of red sunglasses.

The T-Max Rex’s cave, the darkroom. By Mathias Pastwa

The Bronicasauraus

This large beast wanders the medium format world. Their size comes from having to carry excessively large cameras, lenses, backs, viewfinders and other associated 120mm paraphernalia.

They are often seen in the company of Tripodosops, these gangly three legged creatures playing host to the Bronnie’s excessive camera weight. The Bronicasauras, despite its size, has evolved highly dexterous forehands, used to load and rewind its finicky film.

Its saliva is amongst the stickiest of the film dinosaurs, it is rare that a roll of 120 film comes unraveled.

Bronicasuarus and Tripodosop together. By Ed Brambley

The Westopsians

These strange creatures have evolved a highly sensitive third optical system for measuring the levels of light. As well as their two forward facing eyes, they carry a third eye in a leather pouch.

The Westopsian’s third eye is made distinctive by white plastic eyelid that allows it to switch from reflected to incident light reading.

Westopsians have often become so adept at reading the light that they often ditch the third eye and accurately judge the light with their front facing sensors only.

The large third eye of a Westopsian. By Steve Rainwater

FREE DOWNLOAD FOR READERS: Back to the digital age, we’re using computers in rooms lit with light bulbs and post processing software. Download our free Lightroom Shortcuts Cheat Sheet and discover how you can speed up your workflow! Download it here.

Leicators

Leicators are generally found only in the urban environment. These street predators are fast agile and can spot their prey from a considerable distance.

They commonly feast on Homo Sapiens caught in compromising situations. They capture their prey by remaining motionless and camouflaged before rapidly shooting their victims as they do something silly. The Leicator then merges back into its urban environment.

A Leicator in it’s natural environment. By Raúl González

The Canosaurus.

These beasts are found in many environments, often rutting with Nikonopods for local dominance.

The rivalry between these two has been long and bitter. For many years the Nikonopods despite being smaller held the greater territory, but the larger Canosaurus has fought back.

The most evolved Canosuarus’s from the subspecies EOS have distinctive large white eyes and are direct descendants of modern digital versions.

Chromapods

Chromapods see the world in bright vibrant colors. They take only transparencies, often having to process them in their specially converted nests.

There are several subspecies of Chromapods. Kodakites, had exceptionally sharp eyesight but are now extinct. Ektatites seeing the world with a slightly muted blue cast whilst Fujitites see very vibrant almost unnatural colors.

All Chromapods are on the endangered list, their natural environment having been severely diminished.

All that remains of Kodakites are fossils. By pittaya

Metzopsians

Metzopsians are strange creatures. They inhabit a world of low light or in some cases, complete darkness.

They find their way around by emitting very brief, incredibly blue flashes of light. They can identify their prey by the red light reflecting from their retinas and the harsh shadows across they prey’s face.

A further evolution is the Bounced Metzopsian. This creature uses subtle lighting to illuminate an entire room full of potential prey.

So there you have it. A silly satirical walk with the dinosaurs of film. Are their any inhabitants in Jurassic Park we might have missed out?

FREE BONUS: Back to the digital age, we’re using computers in rooms lit with light bulbs and post processing software. Download our free Lightroom Shortcuts Cheat Sheet and discover how you can speed up your workflow! Download it here.

Further Resources

The post The Crazy Ways We Look Back: The Era of Film Photography appeared first on Light Stalking.