Images work just a bit different when you capture a panoramic set of photos. This area of the southwest lends itself to showing off the mountain ranges littered with white puffy clouds that were visible on this day.

Vermilion Cliffs National Monument in Arizona lends itself to a full-on panorama photograph.

Panorama photography

I highly recommend mounting your camera in a vertical position to give you a bit more overlap with which to work.

Watch for two things. Have the camera level and work to get the lens over the light entry point, aka the nodal point. 30–40% overlap works well for me. This makes it easier for Photoshop to stitch. An L-bracket can be of help when mounting the camera tall.

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III with 12-100mm M.Zukio f/4.0 lens. Vertically mount your camera to get taller pixels in your images. An L-bracket can make it easy. Note the Peak Design red and black anchors. That system allows me to remove my camera strap quickly when working on a tripod.


Here are a couple screen grabs of Adobe Bridge with the pano images selected.

Seven image capture of the scene straight out of the camera. Note that I expose to the right (ETTR) and define shadows and highlights in post production. I feel this gives me the best pixels with which to work.
With Adobe Camera RAW (ACR) processing the Clouds were controlled and enhanced as well as defining the shadow detail and contrast for the image. These files were then loaded into Photoshop using Photomerge to create the panoramic.

Post-production in Photoshop

After the individual photos are combined it’s time to take it to another level. I’m am creating an idealistic view. It starts with a little content aware to fill in the edges. I cleaned up cars, street signs and fencing. Finally, another image was added to spread the cloud formations just a bit.

Photoshop Layers Palette after Photomerge has done its magic blending and selections of the good stuff!

Note that I look to create idealistic imagery utilizing multiple photos and retouching. If I was making photos for a different purpose such as tourism advertising it would be a different story.

Extra post-production in Luminar 4

Plug-ins can be a great help in adding finishing touches to an image. This image needed just a little more somethin’ somethin’. I found that in Luminar using a couple gentle filters added that extra numminess.

I use numminess as a technical term for things that look extremely nice and warm. The DetailAI, Mystical and Glow filters were added in a subtle fashion. I always add detail or sharpen a bit whenever I use a blurring filter.

Final image

Here is my finished piece. Enjoy and let me know what you think.

Vermilion Cliffs National Monument.

Check out another article on making panoramic images. This one captured two rows and blended them all together to make a monster size file!

Yours in Creative Photography, Bob