You know I am so techno phobic about things. Being a former technology/computer guy you wouldn’t think I would be but I’m going to have to confess. I don’t know if I’m just too lazy to learn anything new, or I’m just a techno-dufus. Anyway I used the Photomerge feature for the first time tonight and WOW, this feature is way cool. It stitched together a panorama I did in Tuscany in 3 clicks. Smart stuff. So what if it's a 150MB PSD...I can make a BIG print. It’s actually encouraging for me to know that I can do this…I mean I’m not going to tell everyone that it’s so simple even Doug can do it. Try it for yourself.
I was inspired to try this by Jeremey Woodhouse, one of the instructors on my Tuscany trip.
1) Level the tripod, head, and camera. You must first level your tripod. It you have a ball head, then you need to remove it to level the base, then re-attach the head, then level the head. If your camera is not level then as you swing it around the image will tilt up or down...not good. Take the time to do this right or it isn't worth the effort.
2) Determine exposure and set to Manual. Use some judgement here especially if one of your shots will have a lot of sky. You need pick an exposure that considers all of the shots you will be taking.
3) Manually focus, again with consideration of each shot, but set the focus and don't touch it.
4) Overlap 50%. You can get by with less, but this is a safe bet to ensure that there will be no problem with the merge
5) Process all the single images with the same recipe. This may seem obvious but it's worth mentioning.
6) Once you have all the images, in Photoshop go to File/Automate/Photomerge. Click Browse, select your files, and Voila!, it works. Amazing stuff. I'm sure there are plenty of tutorials on this, but I wanted to give the steps here so you can see how simple it is. Now if I can only find that Autoremovedustspecs function...
Some shots are more conducive to panoramas than others. I did a few others and they didn't seem to jump. Sometime a wide angle does the trick, but it's nice to have one more technique in the arsenal.