Photographing long or tall projects. #1: Photographing long or tall projects.

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Blog entry by Druid posted 03-12-2015 11:53 PM 2086 reads 4 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Photographing long or tall projects. series Part 2: Adjusting Your Photos. »

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.
Best regards.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

11 comments so far

View llwynog's profile


288 posts in 3583 days

#1 posted 03-13-2015 01:09 AM

Hi John,
I used dedicated panorama software in the past but never knew that there was a provided tool in Windows for this. I can see this being useful in a pinch.
Thank you.

-- Fabrice - "On est bien bête mais on sent bien quand on se fait mal" - my grandfather

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 3011 days

#2 posted 03-13-2015 01:42 AM

Thanks John!

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View lew's profile


13308 posts in 4760 days

#3 posted 03-13-2015 01:44 AM

Thanks, John. This is really cool!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4338 days

#4 posted 03-13-2015 10:31 AM

This is a great feature John. Thanks for making us aware of it and also showing how to use it. I wonder if there is something similar in my MAC?

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4338 days

#5 posted 03-13-2015 01:35 PM

My grandson was visiting today and he showed me that I had a panorama feature on my Iphone. You just select pan, click to start taking the photo, moving the camera to shoot the scene, click when done and it gets uploaded automatically to the MAC photo gallery as a finished panoramic photo. Very cool and easy. Thanks much John for bringing this up in your post as I otherwise wouldn’t have looked into it and found out that I had such a great feature available.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 3924 days

#6 posted 03-13-2015 07:13 PM

Very good information! :) Thank you!


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Druid's profile


2205 posts in 3800 days

#7 posted 03-13-2015 07:51 PM

Glad you all liked it.
The only time that I have had problems with this feature, is when I took about 7 photos for 1 Panoramic view. I selected all 7, and I got an error message saying that the Panorama could not be produced.
So, I selected the first 3 photos, and made them into a Panorama. Then I selected the next 3 photos, and made a second Panorama. I then made the second Panorama and the 7th photo into one photo so that I now had 2 Panoramas from my original 7 photos. Finally, I made my 2 Panoramas into one, and for some reason this multi-step process worked. For our purposes on LJ, I doubt that any of us will have projects that long.

I’ll see about getting Part #2 posted soon.

Have a great Friday the 13th.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View Lucsdogs's profile


32 posts in 2487 days

#8 posted 03-14-2015 01:44 PM

Fine article John. As eluded to by others this feature is available on many cameras and phones but the image quality does not nearly match this method. I’ve done it with my Galaxy S4 and friends with their Iphones but neither are what I’d call print worthy. This works very well when images are taken from a proper camera, not knocking the camera features on the phones but they are what they are.

-- Bernie, Oshawa, Ontario

View DIYaholic's profile


19921 posts in 3679 days

#9 posted 03-14-2015 02:52 PM

Thanks, for taking the time to document and share this….

I think I will do some experimenting….
Finding a worthy subject could be the problem!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View lew's profile


13308 posts in 4760 days

#10 posted 04-08-2015 06:30 PM

I see Microsoft has just released a new version of “ICE” Image Composite Editor- which will also help with this. It can be downloaded from-

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Druid's profile


2205 posts in 3800 days

#11 posted 04-08-2015 07:12 PM

Thanks Lew. I’ll have to take a look at that one.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

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