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Adobe Photoshop Digital Photography

Adobe Photoshop Digital Photography

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Published by: zelda89195 on Apr 24, 2011
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12/15/2012

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The technique shown here was developed by our friend Jim Collum.

For panoramic views the camera is used in horizontal mode and for 4:3 high
resolution images in vertical mode.

Two be able to switch the camera fast from horizontal to vertical you
should use a so called L-Bracket. These L-Brackets work with tripod heads
that support the Arca Swiss standard. All our cameras and long lenses are
equipped with custom plates for Arca Swiss clamps.

First you have to make three exposures in the field. Set the exposure to
manual (we actually do that all the time) and ensure that all three photos use
the same settings:

• F-stop

• Exposure time

• Same focus

• Camera does not move (of course there are micro movements to the
tripod shifting the lens and taking three exposures)

Take the photos:

1. Shifted to the right

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2. Shifted to middle

3. Shifted to the left

If you use a raw converter ensure that all three pictures are using all(!) the
exact same conversion settings.

Once you have the converted images (or your JPEGs) you can start stitching
in Photoshop. All images have to be 8 bit.

1. Select the three images in the Photoshop CS file browser

Select the three converted images in PS File Browser

2. Select Photomerge from the File Browser menu

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4. the following screen will show

5. important is to select the “Keep as Layers” option

Use Options as shown

Your screen show now the stitched image. But all three parts are in its own
layer.

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Original layer structure

6. Move the middle layer (also middle part of the image) to the top (drag &

drop)

Middle part as top layer

Although Photoshop does a nice job for an initial image alignment you will
do now a finer tweeking.

7. Set the opacity of all three layers to 50%

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Stitched image with all layers to 50%

8. select the layer with the left most part of the image (here layer 2), hide
the right part of the image and also view the image at 100%

Some misalignment

9. Select the move tool and use the arrow keys to move the left part of the
image into alignment. The result will look like this:

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10. Select now the right part of the image and hide the left part. Use again
the arrow keys to bring the right part into better alignment.

11. You now create the seams by erasing the left and right parts of the top
layer (the middle part). You want to create a seam that is not visible. You
can set the opacity of the top layer now to 100%. Use the eraser tool
with a soft brush at about 150 pixels and erase the seam area on both
sides.

Erase the seam area

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This is the core to Jim’s technique as you can control that you seam can
work around e.g. moving branches (they can be completely in one of the
three parts of the image).

12. Hide the left and right images and fully remove the areas left of the left
seam and right of the right seam.

Seam areas fully removed

13. Set all layer to visible and 100% opacity

14. Perform your final crop

Final Image

15. The stitching is done. You can either flatten the layers or keep them.

16. Now you treat this image like any other image and correct exposure,
contrast, colors and sharpen.

17. (optional) or convert it to B&W

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