Did you ever look out at scenery and find yourself wishing you could take a photo that shows the entire breathtaking view? Behold Photomerge. Photomerge is a tool available in both Photoshop and Photoshop Elements that allows you to stitch together two or more photos to create one photo.
Here are the basic of using the tool. I’m working with only two photographs, but it works the same way using more than two photos.
1. Open the images that you’d like to stitch together. In this case. There are two:
2. Next, go to File . Automate > Photomerge.
3. The Photomerge dialog box will open.
The center column defines the Source Files — the images that you’d like to merge together. Because I opened the files before selecting the Photomerge command, I clicked the “Add Open Files” button. My two files (called Picture 26.png and Picture 24.png — most of the time, you’ll be adding jpg files) opened in the center column. (Note: If you didn’t initially open the images, or if you have multiple images open and only want to use a few, select the appropriate options from the Use: drop-down menu.) The Blend images together is checked — which is what I want, a blending of the two images.
The left column defines the layout of the images. While Auto works fine for most situations, it’s fun to experiment with other layouts.
Once you have your images ready, click the OK button. Then wait as the software does the work for you.
The resulting image is a merger of the Source Files. I often find the results interesting to use as is or inspirational for something else.
If you open the Layers palette, you’ll see each image on its own layer with a layer mask blending the images together. The merger is a result of the software examining the pixels and overlapping the seam. The more seams, the more you may need to correct things. If you are familar with working with masks, correcting seams is a matter of blowing up your image and adjusting the mask where needed.
To finish the panorama, use the crop tool to select the area you’d like to feature. Drag the center handles of the crop in and out until you are satisfied. Click the Return key to commit to your crop. If you are unsatisfied with your crop, use the undo command and give it another try.
And here you have it!
Some tips: Try to overlap a chunk of the scenery so that the software can better recognize and stitch together the overlap. Keep the camera steady and at the same level for each picture. To take the pictures, I generally shoot one, move two steps to the right and shoot another, move two more steps and take a third (and so on). When I cannot do this, I twist my body. However, the more twisting, the more there will be wonky angles on the top and bottom of your image that may require cropping.
Coming soon: more panoamic images and an explaination of how they were done.