Panoramic Fun

These days, it is fairly simple to take a panoramic picture with your iPhone. Set your camera to “Pano”, hit the button, and then just move your iPhone from the left to the right. When you are done, you have one large panoramic photo. It is simple, and does it efficiently.


If the “Pano” option is not available to you, you can create a panoramic picture from multiple photos. This can be done manually or through ‘photomerge’, an automated feature in both Photoshop CC and Photoshop Elements 15.


Panoramic photo fun starts here!

Using an iPhone camera set to Pano, a panoramic photo is very simple to make and use. You take the panoramic photo, upload it to your computer, and then use it to create a scrapbooking page using your graphics program.


I took this panoramic picture, this morning out my kitchen window with the iPhone:






Yes, I know the photo is “boring”, however, I wanted a quick panoramic photo. Other then adding some filters or adjustments for lighting, the photo is ready to go with minimal effort.


If you do not have an iPhone or a camera that takes panoramic photos, you can “manually” make them. This can be done by taking individual photos sequentially, and using Photoshop or Photoshop Elements (or any other photo program) to manually “stitch” the photos together.


We recently were on vacation in the UK at St. Andrews, Scotland. Having the Golf Course on one side, and the North Sea on the other, there was plenty of “real estate” to do panoramic photos of. We were using a regular digital camera so individual photos were taken. We just started at the left and just turned ever so slightly to the right taking a photo, turning a little more to the right, taking another photo, etc.


Now I have individual photos that I want to put together to make a panoramic photo for my scrap book page.


I am going to manually create a panoramic photo. There is a “photomerge” function in both Photoshop CC & Photoshop Elements 15, which automates the process. I will demonstrate the same panoramic photo using the photomerge feature in both programs afterwards. Look at the information below which reflects the 3 ways, and determine which way works best for you. (Personally, I enjoy manually creating my own panoramic photos!) 


Here are my 3 images:



As you can see they will overlap slightly.


We are now going to “stitch” the photos together.


Open up all the photos you are want to use for your panoramic photo.  [There is no limit on the number of photos you use, but you may want to start off with only 2 or 3 to practice with first.]


Make sure all the photos are the same size.  I am going to select all the photo layers and resize them smaller, so a wide panorama will fit in my workspace.




As you can see, the photos are too big to fit across my workspace.


Select all photo layers and go to Edit>Transform>Scale and resize your photos.




Next, we need to align them in the order we want them to appear in the panoramic photo. We will be overlapping them to match like a puzzle.


As you overlap them, change the layer opacity of the photo layer you are working with. (I have my layer opacity at 55%.) This is done so you can see through the layer to line it up with the photo underneath.




Once the 1st & 2nd photos are aligned, do the same for the 3rd.




After aligning the 3rd photo, set opacity back to 100% for all layers.




As you can see the photos are composited together and are now uneven on the top and bottom. To make the edges straight and even we will need to trim the sides. You can do this by merging all your photo layers together and using the rectangular marquee tool, inverse & delete to trim the sides. I prefer to use the rectangular marquee tool and add a mask to all the layers to even the sides.




Delete method:

With the Marquee tool, make a large rectangle around your merged photo. Go to Select>Inverse and use the delete key to trim the outside edges for a “clean” rectangle.

Mask method:

Using the marquee rectangle tool to make the rectangle shape on the entire image. With the large rectangle reflected with “marching ants”, choose the first photo image layer.  Select the layer so it is highlighted in your layer pallet. Now chose the mask icon in the layer pallet. That will add the mask to the first photo.




Now the easy part, as you only need to make the mask once! You are now going to grab the mask in the layer pallet while holding the ALT key on a PC (Option on a Mac). Drag the mask up to the next photo layer. Do the same for the last one as well. The mask should now be on all three photo layers.





If you find some slight differences where the photos overlap, using a soft brush, mask with brush for additional blending.

[ I prefer the mask method so I can adjust the overlap areas to blend better if I need to. With a mask, your trimming is not destructing the photos.]


Panoramic photo:

When you are satisfied with your panoramic image, merge the layers by selecting the 3 photo layers and merge them by choosing Layer>Merge Layers. OR you can hide the white background layer (turn off eye on the white layer) and select the top photo layer in the layer pallet. Hold down the CTRL+Shift+ALT+E keys at the same time. This will make a merged copy of your combined photo at the top of the layer stack. This is nice as you can always go back & change things if you are not happy.




Now you can add a frame, your favorite kit elements and papers to scrap your manual panoramic photo!!


Here is what I did with mine:




(Credits: My panorama of St Andrews is made from 3 photos pieced together. This was from our recent UK trip on 7/5/17 in Scotland    Kate Hadfield | Par for the Course    Pink Reptile Designs | Baker’s Gonna Bake – Papers     fonts: Courier New and Ostritch Sans)


The above can be done in both Photoshop CC and Photoshop Elements. Each program has an “auto” panoramic function called ‘photomerge’ that is fast and works well too.  

Photoshop CC:

In Photoshop CC go to File>Automate>Photomerge


This will bring up the photomerge box.

Choose Browse and locate the photos you want to use for your panoramic photo.



After choosing your photos, and selecting the choices you want, press OK. (Defaults above are checked.) This will run the photomerge feature.




Once the automated panorama is completed, you will still need to trim up your image. Use the marquee rectangle tool and Select>Inverse>Delete or use the mask method for trimming.


Either way works fine. [I like to have more control over my image, so I use the manual panoramic photo, and the masked trim method.]


Photoshop Elements 15:

In Photoshop Elements 15, open up your photos and place them in the photo bin. Select all your photos that you want to use for your panorama.  To use the panoramic Photo Merge feature, on the top bar, select  Guided > Photomerge > Panorama



Select the Auto Panorama and at the bottom select ‘Create Panorama‘.



The Create Panorama runs, and upon completion a ‘pop-up’  will ask you if you want the edges filled (like content aware) so it will be a complete picture.



Select Yes. This will eliminate the need for trimming your edges, like it was needed in Photoshop CC.



It can now be saved, or you can continue editing in Expert (or quick), as you make your scrap page.

In Photoshop Elements 15 ‘fill edge’ trimmed the edges. In Photoshop CC we cut off the outside edges of the rectangle.

This was only done with 3 photos for ease of creating, but you can do it with 2 photos or as many as you wish. I hope you have found this fun and helpful.

Until next time!!!



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  • Yobeth Puckett August 8, 2017   Reply →

    Great information, Christa!

  • webchyck August 9, 2017   Reply →

    Thanks for this great tutorial!

  • Donna P. September 5, 2017   Reply →

    Thanks for sharing. I just tried this on one, well three of my vacation pictures and it works like a charm!

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