Category Archives: Panoramic

Shooting Panoramas at the Las Vegas Speedway

Scott and Rich visit the Las Vegas speedway to shoot Panoramas.  In this first part you’ll learn how to shoot horizontal panoramic images.

Part 1 of 2.

 

Create Interactive Panoramas for the Web

Learn how to use the Zoomify export plug-in inside Adobe Photoshop to create interactive images. This allows you to create zoomable and navigable images for the web (perfect for panoramas). This quick tip only takes 3 minutes and is perfect for any high-resolution photo.
To see how the panorama was made, click here.

Enhancing Details with Adobe Camera Raw

You can use the Details tab in the Adobe Camera Raw dialog to really enhance your photos.  This works great if you’d like to create custom settings for your raw files before you run the HDR or Photomerge commands. The Detail tab offers precise control over both sharpening an image as well as reducing noise.  All raw images will need some sharpening.  Noise on the other hand may not appear unless the image was shot with a high ISO setting or under low light.

1.  Open a raw image with Adobe Photoshop.  The Camera raw dialog will open.

2. Double-click the Zoom tool in the top toolbar to switch to 100% magnification.It’s easier to accurately judge both sharpening and noise at a 100% view.

3.  Click the Details tab. In the Detail tab, you can adjust sharpening to bring out fine image details.

  • Amount – Increases definition at the edges of an image.  Use a lower amount for a cleaner image. When you open the file, Camera Raw plug-in calculates the settings to use based on camera model, ISO, and exposure compensation.
  • Radius Use a low number for fine detail and a higher number if the photo lacks much detail.
  • Detail Controls how much high-frequency information is sharpened in the image and how the edges are emphasized.
  • Masking – This controls the edge of the mask.  Using a value of zero means that everything receives the same amount of sharpening.  A higher number will limit the sharpening to those areas near the strongest edges.

An easy way to tell how much masking to use is to hold down the Option (Alt) key while dragging.  White areas will be sharpened while black areas are ignored (masked).  Try this out, hold down the Option (Alt) key and drag slowly to the right.  A value of 50 seems to be the right balance for this image.

4. Noise reduction controls let you remove extra grain from the image.

  • Luminance – Reduces luminance noise. Set this to 10 for this image (it’s not very noisy).
  • Luminance Detail – This sets a threshold for the noise reduction. Higher values preserve detail but can produce noisier results. Lower values tend to produce cleaner results but likely remove some detail.
  • Luminance Contrast – This option works best for very noisy photos.
  • Color – Reduces color noise.
  • Color Detail – Use a higher value to protect detailed edges.  A lower value preserves more color, but can result in color bleeding.

5.   Toggle the check box for Preview to see the before and after states.

Mixing Panoramic & HDR Photography

Sometimes you just have to make lemons into lemon-aide – or at least try.

A few years ago I was in Alaska photographing bears. We moved our boat into Geographic Harbor for a few hours and of course, when we got there the weather was horrid. I made the image immediately below because I was there, not because I liked it.

There’s not much I like about it other than it provides me with a personal memory of my time in Alaska that year. But when I was shooting this location I knew this would happen. So I made several exposures and decided to combine panoramic photography and HDR photography to see if I could salvage something.

Here’s a link to a large version of the result. It’s not the best image I ever made, but it isn’t as horrible as it was when I just made one shot.

I made four shots – two exposures each – and merged them in a combination of Photoshop and Nik HDR Efex Pro. I then added some effects in onOne’s new Perfect Photo Suite. I still don’t love it but that’s not the point. The point is that thanks to technologies like panoramic stitching and HDR tone mapping – once in a while we can save a shot that otherwise wouldn’t make the grade.

How To Clean Up Your Panoramic Photos Part 3: Healing Brush

Chances are, you’ll end up with a few unwanted objects in your panoramic photo. Perhaps it’s a power line that’s sagging in the frame. Or it’s an unwanted tourist walking through the shot. Fortunately, Photoshop offers a suite of tools for removing objects and hiding blemishes. In this second part we look at the Healing Brush tool.

The Healing Brush is designed to correct imperfections in a photo. Similar in handling to the Clone Stamp tool, it successfully hides blemishes by taking cloned pixels and matching the texture, lighting, and shading of the sampled to the original pixels. This can generally produce results in which the repaired pixels blend seamlessly together.

While the Healing Brush takes a short while to process and blend, the results are usually seamless.

You can use all of the Clone Stamp tool shortcuts with The Healing Brush tool. Be sure to specify the tool alignment in the Options bar. If Aligned is selected, the sample point and painting point move parallel as you brush. If you click again and start over, the sample point picks up relative to the current brush position. If Aligned is deselected, the initial sample point is re-used. The second method ensures that you are always sampling from the same area but the first produces more visual variety if using a large textured area.

Here are a few tips to get better performance:

  • Because the sampled pixels are drawn from before you click, it may be necessary to release and start over occasionally to avoid sampling the problem area.
  • Release the mouse to merge the sampled pixels. The stroke will most-likely look strange until then.
  • To get better results on an area with strong contrast, make a selection before using the Healing Brush Tool. The selection should be bigger than the area to be healed and should follow the boundary of high contrast pixels. This way, when painting with the Healing Brush, the selection will prevent color bleed-in from outside areas.
  • You can clone from all visible layers by specifying Use All Layers. This is useful if you want to clone to an empty layer at the top of your document while sampling from the layers below.

This post is adapted from the book Motion Graphics with Adobe Creative Suite 5 Studio Techniques. If you want to learn how to mix panoramic photos with video (and much more) check out the book.

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