Skip to content


Hudson Valley Snow / 8 images from Olympus E-M1, f/5.6@1/1250 sec / ISO 400, 20mm, no filters

I get lots of questions about stitching and editing panoramas, and since I just made one last week here in the Hudson Valley after our first snow of the year, it seemed like an opportune time to make this video. I used Adobe Lightroom 5 to make the initial adjustments and Photoshop CC for stitching. I also used a new fantastic FLM tripod and ball head which I’ll get into more detail in a future post. Watch the video for the in-depth details, as well as my aesthetic approach to making the image.

Watch on Youtube

As always, please feel free to share your questions and comments. Thanks for watching!

Experience your work in the real world. The Printmaker Masterclass is live and growing! Learn more here.

This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. Great tutorial. It not only demonstrated how to create a panorama, but it also gave me instruction in some other features of Lightroom…like how to properly use masking feature. Thanks.

  2. Thanks for the walkthrough, Robert! Do you ever worry with some of these positional adjustments, particularly the warp/rotate, that you lose some of the sharpness from the originals since photoshop has to do the interpolation for the new positioning? Do you ever notice it affecting print quality?

    Also, I would love to know what you think about dedicated panoramic gear, like nodal sliders and rotators with precise click stops for various angles of rotation. Does that make a difference when doing panoramas?

    1. Hi Kenny, thanks for the feedback and questions. As to interpolating, I don’t worry especially with an 8 image stitch that has an effective resolution of 40MP. Even on a 40″ wide print, it looks tack sharp to my eyes. But good observation indeed and it was the first thing I checked when I started printing panoramas stitched like this.

      I used to use a Nodal Ninja pano head, but just found the whole workflow too constricted for my style of shooting, and didn’t get better results than using a level tripod and careful panning like this image.


  3. Very well done. Using the warp tool in PS rather than lens correction appears to provide more control, I’ll have to give it a try. How has your experience with Yosemite been so far?

    1. Hi Frank – apologies for the delay responding. Yosemite has been great so far, very stable and I like the way it looks. I have upgraded my studio computer a well with no issues so far. It’s where I do all my editing and printing, and so far playing nicely with Canon and Epson printers – which had Yosemite drivers soon after it was released. I’m happy.


  4. I really enjoy your tutorials and willingness to share processing techniques. I always learn something from them, and this one was particularly helpful as I love shooting stitched panos. Your method is definitely an improvement over what I’ve been doing and I can’t wait to follow your steps the next time an opportunity presents itself. Thanks, Robert!

  5. Great tutorial! Two question/comments:
    1. Highlights/Shadows in LR…you pushed shadows and lowered highlights “a little”. I have seen other professional photographers instruct in tutorials to reduce highlights to -100 and push shadows to +100. There were some really dark areas in the right lower portion that may have benefited from additional shadow boost and/or some local brushing with exposure increase.
    2. Whites/Blacks…again you pushed whites and reduced blacks “a little”. I have seen others hold the option key while gradually changing whites and blacks until clipping appears. Should you do this in LR before merger using sync command or wait until after merge?

    1. Hi Steve, thanks for the feedback and questions, always happy to discuss. And apologies for the delay, busy weekend with talks and family time.

      My philosophy in everything I do is that there are no formulas or absolutes. Every image should be adjusted based on its own merits, your intent, and the vision you have for the photograph. Starting out with a formula or prescribed way of editing seriously limits the creative potential of any image. I adjust based on what every image needs, nothing more. Yes I could have recovered more shadow detail, but does that just recover more shadow detail, or does it make the image better? Or even more important, does it bring the image closer to or further away from my vision?

      That’s the question you should ask yourself when editing. Some images need aggressive adjustments, some do not. The deciding factor is whether it matches your vision as a photographer.

      Hope that helps, thanks again for the great question.


  6. Hi Robert,

    Great video. I haven’t done many panos in the past, but want to start doing more. This video serves as a nice inspiration. I had a question in regards to how you handle focusing for multi-frame shots like this. Regardless of whether you auto focus or manual focus; do you perform your focusing for your first frame, then leave it alone as you pan to take the other seven exposures or do you focus each frame independently because as you pan you’re worried about losing sharpness across the scene. Thanks.

    1. Hi Laurence, great to have you hear and thanks for the kind feedback. Great question, absolutely the focus is set the same for the whole series, otherwise you may have differing amounts of depth of field depending on the actual image. IF there is a very close foreground element that is NOT in the first few images, then I will set focus using for that using hyperfocal distance, then make the whole series without changing the focus.

      Hope that helps!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *