Panoramic Photo Stitching
Taormina Panorama© David Male
At a recent Club Meeting (9 July 2013), John Burgess made reference during his presentation to a free software package for stitching multiple adjacent images into a single panoramic image. His program of choice is Microsoft ICE (Image Composite Editor). It comes highly recommended and the on-line reviews are very positive. HOWEVER, I am a Mac user and this package does NOT work on Macs!!!
Soooo, I did a little research on behalf of us Mac people, and the best I could find is a product called PanoEdit. (You may already have a better alternative??) It is an iTunes App and costs $16 ($15.99 actually, but they kept my change!!). It is easy to download and can be paid for either by credit card or via an iTunes account. And it is even easier to use. I am a Lightroom user, so my workflow is as follows:
- Export the individual images that are to be stitched from LR into a temporary folder in Finder (eg Desktop>Panorama). I created a â€˜User Presetâ€™ called Panorama and left my images at their original file size.
- Open PanoEdit. An icon will have been created during the download stage and added to the dock at the bottom of the screen. Select the images from your folder in Finder and drag them to the bottom panel of the PanoEdit screen. (If you are not a LR user, I believe you could also carry out this process directly from iPhoto)
- Select â€˜Match Allâ€™ and wait 30 sec (or whatever) until the job is done. Thatâ€™s it!!
Have a play with the icons below the new image. I choose not to crop at this stage, but wait til I return to LR. Donâ€™t forget to Save the image. If the new file is too large (eg 50MB), now is the time to resize it to something more sensible if you wish to. I rename my new images here and save them to the same folder in Desk (>Panorama)
- Import the new file back into LightRoom for storage and further processing as required. Donâ€™t forget to add the appropriate keywords or ratings in LR as applicable.
Note: On completion of your stitching, select the minus (-) key on the bottom panel of PanoEdit to clear the current images, ready to stitch the next series.
I know I was very impressed with the results and I hope you will be too. Simply visit PanoEdit for more information. This process could also be done via (say) Photoshop, but not everyone has this option.
Below are several examples of my new panoramas. These panoramas are the outcome of sets of 3 to 5 images taken with a hand held camera (Canon 7D) and a 17-35mm lens, on fully manual settings.
Let me know if you choose to go down this path too or if you have any enquiries.