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Take a Landscape Panorama Picture

Landscapes that go on for miles and miles and miles deserve special treatment. Instead of creating a landscape image with the standard digital photography 4:3 aspect ratio, go really wide and create a panorama. In essence, to create a panorama, you capture several images with your digital camera and then merge the separate images in a software application to create the final piece.

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When you create a panorama, you must use specific settings. You also need to mount your camera on a tripod. To create a panorama, take several pictures and use an application to stitch them together. You can capture images for your panorama and stitch them together using Photoshop Elements.

  1. Switch to Aperture Priority mode.

    Aperture Priority mode gives you precise control over depth of field.

  2. Choose an f-stop of f/11 or larger (smaller aperture).

    A small aperture gives you a huge depth of field, which is just what you need when you’re creating a panorama.

  3. Manually set the white balance.

    Choose the white balance that matches the lighting conditions for the scene you’re photographing. If you let the camera automatically set white balance, the camera may change it slightly between each capture, which will cause problems when you stitch the images together. Refer to your camera manual for information on manually setting the white balance.

  4. Mount your camera on a tripod and use the tripod controls to rotate the camera 90 degrees.

    Photoshop Elements does a good job of stitching images into a panorama. If you left your tripod at home and feel the urge to shoot a panorama, follow the steps in this section. Just remember to rotate the camera 90 degrees and overlap the images by at least 30 percent.

  5. Rotate the tripod controls until the camera faces the center of the scene.

  6. Press the shutter button halfway and make a note of the shutter speed.

  7. Rotate the camera to the leftmost part of the scene you’re photographing and note the shutter speed.

    If the shutter speed is significantly slower than the shutter speed in the middle of the scene, you’ll have to reduce the shutter speed by 2/3 of a stop (two speeds slower). If there’s only a small difference, reduce the shutter speed by 1/3 of a stop (one speed slower).

  8. Switch to manual exposure and then switch to the shutter speed noted in the preceding step.

  9. Rotate the camera to the leftmost side of the scene you’re photographing and take your first picture.

  10. Rotate the tripod so that the next image overlaps the first by about 30 degrees.

    The details on the left side of the second image will overlap the details on the right side of the preceding image.

  11. Take a picture.

  12. Repeat Steps 10 and 11 to take two or three additional images.

  13. Stitch the images together.

    Refer to the next section to stitch the images together in Photoshop Elements 9.

Put your hand in front of the lens and take one (blank/black) picture before you create a sequence of panorama images. Take another blank picture with your hand in front of the lens after you take the last shot of a sequence of panorama images. This shows you which images to stitch together. This is useful when you’re shooting several sequences of panorama images.

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