Wilderness and nature photography are extremely popular, whether you are a hobbyist or a full time professional photographer. Many times, photographers will venture into the great outdoors, where there are vast amounts of wilderness, and civilization is nowhere to be found. Landscape photography captures beautiful scenery, but when working with large nature scenes, sometimes you simply can’t fit everything into one shot. This means that you need to stitch multiple images together to form what is called a panorama, a wide image formed from multiple images blended together.
The edges tend to overlap, and the overlapping areas are blended together, forming an image similar to viewing the scene horizontally as if you were actually there. In the past, it used to take hours and hours to overlap, layer, and blend images together to form a high-quality panorama, but now you can do this quickly and easily in just a few quick steps.
Open Photoshop and go to File> Automate> Photomerge. A dialog box will come up. There will be a list of options on the left side for Layout. The best one is actually Auto. It simply analyzes the edges and stitches the photo together to form a normal photo.
The drop down menu titled Source Files will ask you to choose either a folder of images or multiple images themselves. If everything is organized into a folder and all of the images in the folder will be used, then simply choose Folder. If you need to manually select the images that will be used in the panorama, then choose Files.
Once you hit OK, Photoshop literally does about 90% of the work. It analyzes the edges and the pixel information, determining where pixel information overlaps to create a panorama that is as close to the original scene as it can. It stacks all of the photos in their own layers and blends the boundaries between each one. You will notice masks on each layer to help achieve this.
The result may not be exactly what you’d expect. Photoshop does a great job of blending everything together, but the end results usually don’t fill up the entire canvas. You will notice that edges aren’t square, and that chunks of image information are missing around all four edges.
To work on all the layers at once, without destroying your layered file, Hold down Shift+ Ctrl+ Alt/Option + E to take all of the layers, copy them, and paste them all into one merged layer, while leaving the original layers in tact. This will let you work on your file without destroying the originals.
Next, select the Marquee Tool and make small selections around the edges of your document with blank canvas, and hit Shift + Delete to bring up the fill options dialog box. Choose Content Aware Fill, and repeat this around the perimeter of your image in manageable chunks until the entire image has been fixed. Photoshop and Content Aware Fill do a great job of filling in missing information.
In just a few short steps, we have created a panorama in minutes that would have taken us hours in Photoshop in the past. As you can see from the image below, Photoshop can help you create a seamless panoramic image quickly and effectively, with little to no effort.