How to Make a Long Picture

by Alex Smith ; Updated September 22, 2017

Items you will need

  • Tripod

  • Camera

  • Computer

  • Image editing program

A panorama is a long picture that shows a wide landscape, skyline or similar view. These pictures cannot be taken with one click of the camera, instead many pictures are taken and combined into one. This used to require physical cutting and gluing of images, but today image editing programs allow you to do the work in a fraction of the time.

Mount the camera on a steady tripod at your shooting location. Ideally the tripod should have a level built in so that you can ensure your photos are straight.

Rotate the tripod to the left of the scene that you want to photograph.

Take the first picture.

Rotate the camera slightly to the right and take a second picture. There must be at least a 25 percent overlap of identical material between the pictures for editing.

Continue rotating the camera and taking pictures until you have captured the entire scene.

Load the pictures onto your computer, then open them in an image editing program.

Open a new image file that is slightly higher than the pictures, and as wide as all of them combined.

Copy the first photo and paste it into the new file. Move it all the way to the left.

Copy the second photo and paste it into the new file. Move it to the left, overlapping the first. This is where the 25 percent overlap is useful.

Align the two images based on the matching overlap.

Set the program's eraser to 25 percent with soft edges.

Pass the eraser over the seam several times until the two pictures blend together. If they already line up with no visible seam, you can skip this step.

Continue adding pictures, softening the seams with the eraser.

Use the crop tool to remove anything except for the portion of the panorama that you want.

Save the file in the photo format of your choice.

Tip

  • You may have to adjust the scale of individual photos to help them line up.

About the Author

Alex Smith began writing in 2006 and brings a combination of education and humor to various websites. He holds a Master of Arts in theater and works as a professional makeup and special-effects artist.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images