Monday, August 21, 2006

World-class photos

Next time you head out for a hike, take your camera and try a panoramic shot. Here are tips for creating a panorama from Jake Norton. Norton is a world-class climber and photographer who lives in Golden. He has summited Everest two times, and this fall will lead an expedition to Gurla Mandhata, a 7,700-meter peak in Western Tibet. Norton has also launched a blog at

Here are his photo tips for your epic shot:

Use a tripod or, if you don't have one, set your camera on a rock or other immovable surface. Make sure your lens is not so wide that it will have aberrations at the sides, as this will distort the images. Now, shoot 2 or more frames of your soon-to-be panorama, making sure to overlap each frame by at least 15-25%. Keep the camera's angle steady, again using your tripod or sturdy surface. Oh, and don't leave the camera on auto-exposure! Set the exposure manually so that the lighting on each frame will be the same.

Now, take your shots to your computer, load up Adobe Photoshop CS or above, and go to File>Automate>Photomerge...

Select the files you just shot, select OK, and Photoshop will try to align the photos for you. If it cannot, have no fear - there is a user-friendly interface that will let you do what Photoshop could not. Try using the "Advanced Blending" and "Perspective" settings to see if they help.

Once you have arranged your images as you want them, click OK to open your panorama in Photoshop and make the final adjustments.

Check out Norton's photographs, panoramic and otherwise, at

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