Since a lot of us produce “longer”, or taller, items that we want to post on LJ’s, we typically end up having to take the photo from a distance so that the entire object can be included. The resulting photo ends up not showing the finer details of your work.
This type of scenario applies to some of my own pieces, such as carved walking staffs, or canes, but there is a free tool to help us get around this problem, and I expect that it is already installed on your PC with either Windows 7 or 8.
Effectively, we will be looking at creating a “Panoramic” view of your project so that you can show it from end to end, (or top to bottom), complete with the details. Once you get the process working for you, you will also be able to use it for vacation photos and nature scenes . . . but let’s get to it.
First, take a series of 2 or more photos that overlap, and copy them to a suitable folder on your PC. The series can be horizontal or vertical, but the overlap areas need to have matching details so that the software can match the photos correctly. Don’t worry if the series of photos are slightly different in exposure, you will adjust that later.
You also don’t need to worry about your originals. They will remain untouched since the resulting Panoramic photo will be a totally new file.
Step 1 – Using your File Explorer, go to the folder where you have saved your photos, and double-click on the first photo in the series that will be used for the Panorama. This example uses 2 photos.
Step 2 – The photo should open in the Windows Photo Viewer.
Go to the “Open” control on the menu bar, and select “Photo Gallery”.
Step 3 – When your image opens in Photo Gallery, click on the “Edit, organize, or share” on the menu bar.
The next view will show you all of the photos in the folder where your series was saved, and you can select the ones that you want to include in the Panorama.
Step 4 – As you pause your mouse cursor over each photo, you will see a checkbox appear next to the top left corner of the photo. Click the checkbox to select the photo, and repeat this for each of the photos in the series. It doesn’t matter what order you select them in, the software seems to sort them out correctly.
Step 5 – Once you have selected all of the photos in the series (I’m only using 2 in this example), click on “Create” on the menu bar, then click on “Panorama” and you will see a progress bar as the Panorama is created.
Step 6 – If the software has problems matching your photos you will see a message appear, but you should normally get a “Save” screen where you can name the Panorama, and also decide which folder you want to save it in (the default folder will be the same one that the original photos are in).
Step 7a – You will now see the Panorama, but there will usually be black sections around the border as shown below. To eliminate these, Click on the “Crop” button, and you will see a superimposed grid (shown below). Use the “handles” at the corners of the grid to drag it to cover as much of the Panorama as possible, while leaving out the black areas as shown in the second photo below. Once you are satisfied with the area covered by the grid, click the “Crop” button once more, and you will see the cropped photo.
Step 7b – If you are happy with the resulting photo, click on the “Close file” button to save your Panorama, and return to the Photo Gallery.
The next posting will cover how to make further adjustments to your Panorama, such as brightness or contrast, straightening, and resizing.
Hope this is of interest.
-- John, British Columbia, Canada