Capturing the Verde in the Vista

Staff member and Front Desk superstar Krista Coy has been taking amazing panoramic shots at the ranch ranch.  Here are some tips from her to help you do the same on your next ranch visit!

Being Mother Nature’s playground, it is no wonder Colorado tourism has hit record highs in the past years. A breath of fresh air can be more than rejuvenating when the closest touch with nature is the smell of green tea from two cubicles down. When the chance does occur to be in nature, it’s one to be cherished and only natural to want to hold onto that memory. Luckily, we don’t have to solely rely on a brush and oils to capture the perfect landscape. Unfortunately, our autonomy seems to be thrown out the window when the top of Mt. Zirkel won’t fit into the camera frame. Don’t whip out the canvas just yet, because in 1839 the idea of combining photos to create one wide image was developed. In a matter of seconds many cameras can create their own panoramas without additional software. But if yours can’t, here are a few ways to easily capture a whole landscape.

How to Make a Panoramic Photo

Capturing the Image:

When shooting for a panoramic photo, a tripod is ideal, but a steady hand will typically do. Starting from the left (or right), take a sequence of three to seven photos. Overlapping each shot about one fourth of the way. During this step it is important to keep all settings (lighting, ISO, shutter speed) consistent for seamless editing later on.

Combining the Photos:

Using Picasa

Once you have captured a sequence of photos. It is necessary to open the photos in photo editing software. A free download of Picasa is available online and works decently if Photoshop or other editing programs aren’t available. Although Picasa doesn’t officially have a panoramic feature, you can make a one with the collage feature. Open the sequence in Picasa and align all photos in a row, so that the overlapping features match up. Now hit the make collage button. Your panoramic is now created. Using Picasa, you may have some seams in the photos; other editing programs may be able to get rid of this like PhotoStitch.

Using Photoshop

Photoshop makes this process extremely easy and quick.  Open Photoshop, go to File>Automate>Photomerge. From here, select all of the photos in your sequence. Make sure that they are in the correct order that you shot them in. If they aren’t this process won’t work. From here, choose the Auto format on the left side on the screen (or whatever formatting you want). Click ok. From here, your computer will probably be overwhelmed for a few seconds (or minutes), but be patient and soon enough your panorama will be ready. It will show up with jagged edges, and possibly some seams, but if you crop and use the clone stamp tool to fix the seams and fill in the edges, this will definitely take you back when you’re typing away in the office!