My first attempt at a real panorama


Active Member
Hi folks,

This is my first attempt at a real panorama (rather than just cropping a photo to letterbox).

I followed the advice in Scott Kelby's 'The Digital Photography Book' as best I could remember them (using portrait orientation and allowing about 25% overlapping between frames) and took eight shots, which I made into a panorama using Photoshop Elements.

I used a Hoya NDX8 filter on my Nikon D3100's 18-55mm kit lens at 18mm. I've attached the EXIF data for the first shot below (since the final composite has no EXIF data).

I only recently submitted my first entry to the AVForums photo competition (another sunset shot) and have received some very useful feedback so I've done my best to apply it here, although the main purpose of this experiment was to try a panorama.

I know I did two things wrong.

Firstly I used a crappy tripod that I keep in the boot of the car (it was a spur-of-the-moment idea rather than a planned shoot) which meant that panning wasn't the smoothest and I ended up with a horizon that had a slight bend in it. I tried to correct this in Photoshop, treating it as though it was barrel distortion and also rotating the image by about one degree. Is it noticeable?

Secondly I remembered to use manual shooting mode (so that the camera would not change settings between frames) but forgot to switch from autofocus to manual focus after focusing for the first frame. I'm not sure whether this has affected the final result.

Processing-wise, I highlighted the area above the horizon using the magic wand tool and adjusted the levels to bring out the definition in the sky. I did an auto-sharpen too but that's about it.

I would welcome your opinions. Thanks in advance for taking the time to post them. I've learned a lot from you guys already and been really inspired by your pictures.



  • Ballyholme-Beach-sunet.jpg
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  • EXIF data.jpg
    EXIF data.jpg
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I think it looks lovely and would make a great large canvas print :)



Active Member
Hi Jim,

Thanks for your kind comment.

Being self-critical, I've just noticed that I committed the cardinal sin of leaving the horizon in the middle! While taking the shots I deliberately left them quite 'loose' and made a mental note to make sure I cropped the end result to put the the horizon at the imaginary line that marks the bottom third of the pic. Of course I forgot to do so.

The file I've attached here now is a letterbox crop to fix that. I've also (I think anyway) fixed the slight bend that remained in the horizon.



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horizon in the middle didn't bother me and sometimes rules are meant to be broken ;)

however the letterbox crop removing some foreground works well

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