Panorama stitching portrait : simulate large format, why & how?

Well, this is just a plain portrait at the end, but I’ve tried some Photoshop techniques as a part of ‘Making Photo series’. This portrait made from three separate photos in panorama, vertically stitched.

‘Hmm … Nya … isn’t it good enough to shoot in one shot? Why this simple photo need such a complicated method?’

Yeap, that’s right. It is best to shoot in one shot, but there are situations calling this technique (#1 : when have to do panoramic stitching). Also stitched photo could show a different rendition (#2 : simulating front-tilt in large format camera) from one-shot photo, so I tried this technique extensively in the cosplay event last week.

When I say ‘Dduk-bojung’, does not mean combining photos usually, but it can be regarded as ‘heavy post processing’ if we consider changing a horizontal photo into vertical or making 42 megapixel photograph into 100+ megapixel monster file.

#1 : When have to do ‘panorama-stitching

There is a model somewhere inside. I believe you get in the point of whole story with this photo, so much crowded. The photographer at the front-line put his lens in front of the model’s nose …  In this environment, no way to take a full-body with single shot.

‘Wait, wait a minute… use 17mm or 20mm super wide angle lens, right? Shouldn’t be a problem even in a confined situation’

It is true that using a wide-angle lens will take wider area, but it will bring severe distortion too. Taking a portrait with ultra-wide angle lens is not ended good in most of time. Of course, if ‘distortion itself’ is the intention, or want to show an unusually distorted person deviating from mainstream portrait, that would work in one way (with your own risk though). Nevertheless in here I do not have such an intention at all….  :- )

 

How to do panorama-stitching

First of all, collect pictures to merge in LightRoom Library. Here, I line up 3 photos for one full-body shots. Each photo focused center area, face, arms and knees.

 

From the Lightroom menu, choose Photo> Edit in> Merge to Panorama in Photoshop.

The files selected as below and ask how to stitch them. Layout works best in Auto mode. In some cases though, may select Spherical mode if Auto makes the picture too rounded.

Choose Blend image, Vignette removal, and Geometric distortion correction as well & press OK

 

The result, a stitched picture

Corners can be cropped or fill the white space with menu : Fill in> Contents Aware. From here continue post processing as the same as other photos.

 

 

That’s all. Much simpler and easier than thought.

Other examples

Following 3 photo strips are stitched as below.

 

 This photo is cropped from stitched result

 

  <– This is not cropped, original from panorama-stitching. Note the photo is rounded (see background at top side). It may be worth to try Spherical layout or use Warp to adjust rounded area.

Caution

If the subject moves around while taking photos, will be difficult or impossible to combine them. Small changes do not matter normally, for example facial expression or body angle changes. As the Photoshop works better and stronger, this kind of image processing goes pretty well.

It is a simple technique, not much to explain. At next chapter, I will show some examples of ‘can not do’ and an effect similar to the front tilt of a large format camera …

 

// Continue to Part 2 /

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