In today's digital photography school tutorial series I'll show how to create HDR panoramic photos.
Make sure you check my previous tutorials on HDR photography - How To Take and Post-Process Night HDR Images , How to Capture and Post-Process Professional HDR Photos Using HDR Efex PRO
Now, regarding panorama photos, there is not always a need to create a 180 or 360 degree panoramas, sometimes you just want to fit in your frame a little bit more than a regular shot can do, then comes in panorama technique.
HDR panorama photography
A sturdy tripod is must have, also a DSRL camera is preferable. Check out: Top 13 Best digital SLR cameras of 2016 for beginners
Install your camera on a tripod, and shoot it portrait mode. Settings for camera - Manual mode, f11, ISO 100, bracketing 3 frames, timer 2 seconds. Rotate your tripod head after each bracketed shot for about 15-20 degrees.
I will shoot in JPEG mode
You will need to have Photomatix, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom
Let's start with importing our scene from camera to PC. I will not use default Adobe Lightroom wizard, instead I will save all images on HDD (If you are shooting in RAW mode, you will be required to use that one extra step with Lightroom)
Create a new folder on your desktop - I will call it HDR Panorama, and copy images from your memory card containing images from your scene in that folder
Folder structure for HDR panorama
Now open Photomatix and choose Batch Bracketed Photos
Batch bracketed photos in Photomatix
Now from select folder choose folder you just stored images from your camera, as well I will leave default for presets, and press Run button
Batch processing in Photomatix
It might take a while to align your images in final you should seen a screen like this:
You are done with Photomatix now, now it's time to import exported batch results in Adobe Lightroom
HDR images imported in Adobe Lightroom
I will not apply any customizations yet, I will use Adobe Lightroom at this stage just to export (convert and resize) my images, so I can import them to Adobe Photoshop and perform a photomerge.
Select all your images and click on Export from File menu or just press CTRL+Shift+E
From file settings I'll change image format to PSD and will apply image sizing to resize to fit 1024 pixels
Adobe Lightroom export settings
The real magic starts now - it is time to open Adobe Photoshop and do a photo merge from File - > Automate - > Photomerge
Adobe Photoshop photomerge settings
Select psd files you just exported with Lightroom, in most cases I will go with Cylindrical settings, press OK and let the magic happen
It might take a wile to Adobe to generate tour scene, but in a result you should have your HDR panorama generated like this
HDR panorama in Adobe PS
Now, merge all layers and save your scene as TIFF image.
Now once more open Adobe Lightroom and import TIFF image you just saved from Photoshop
Apply some cropping and fine tune your image (whites, blacks), but since we did already a HDR, there is actually not much need to apply some fine tuning, you are ready to export your final HDR image
Crop panorama in Adobe Lightroom
Now export your final image and you are done.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, if so, please drop a comment or just say hi, I would love to hear from you back.