Three image stitched panorama

This weeks photo was taken from a hiking trail overlooking Eagle Ridge Resort in Galena, IL. My company held a corporate retreat over the weekend, so I had to bring along my camera gear to capture some late fall colors.

The final image is comprised of three separate exposures. While I hauled some photo gear on our hike for portraits, I left the tripod in the car to save weight, not thinking I would do any panoramas (which I rarely shoot). Unfortunately this meant I had to hand hold the camera, while being extremely steady. With any panorama shot it is vital to keep the horizon level in each shot, while overlapping by 20-30% to ensure smooth stitching in post. Once the images are captured I use Adobe Bridge to Photomerge each image into one composite shot.

Un-cropped panorama

For the best results you should shoot more exposures vertically with a tripod, this gives you room in post to crop down without sacrificing vital portions of the image. You can see above the three images merged into one. In order to create the final image I had to crop out quite a bit from the top and bottom. I do like the final exposure, but it definitely loses a lot when viewed online unless you can zoom in all the way. Ideally this could be printed out to over 40" wide to capture all the detail.