Shooting Stitched Panoramas with Fuji X100 Cameras

BayBridgePano-13

On my last trip from Vancouver to San Francisco the only camera I took was my Fuji X100s.  It was a great experience traveling without a backpack full of camera bodies and lenses.  The one thing that occasionally needed to be worked around, however, was the fixed 35mm lens on the camera.  In terms of making landscapes and cityscapes this often meant stitching photographs together to make wide angle panoramas.  This is very easy to do and I thought I’d write a quick blog post about it.

I should preface this by saying I am not a post production expert.  Far, far from it really.  I’m sure there are better ways of doing this, but this is very quick and easy for me.

Let’s get started….

Step One – Lock down on a tripod and overlap your frames:

4PartsOfBridge-1

You can click the above image to view it larger.  It contains the 4 images that went into making the final image that you see at the top of this post.

It is usually preferable to shoot your frames vertically when shooting for a stitched pano, but I shot these 4 in landscape orientation.  The biggest thing you will notice is that there is a lot of overlap between each image…. at least 20-40%.  This is important to give Photoshop enough information to work with when you are stitching the images together.

Step Two – Open your processed images in Photoshop’s Photomerge:

Step1-PhotoMerge-1

Navigate to your photos and select them:

Step2 - Add Photos-2You can see there are a few different options down the left side of the dialog box.  I usually just let it do its thing in auto mode.

Once it has processed your panorama it will give you something that looks like this:

Step3-Stitched-3

Step Three – Flatten your image to one layer:

You will notice visible seams in the picture above, showing where information was taken from the photos used for this pano.  Currently these will be in four layers in your Photoshop document.  The next step is to flatten the image down to one layer:

Step4-MergeMenu-4

Giving you something that looks like this:

Step5-Merged-5
Step Four – Crop:

You can see that the image isn’t perfect… there are uneven edges and sometimes some distortion that needs correction.  The next step is to grab your crop tool and crop down to the image you are after:

Step6-CropTool-6

After selecting the cropped area and hitting enter you end up with your cropped image:

Step7-Cropped-7

At this point you might be totally done.  Best case scenario is that your crop cuts into the image enough that your edges are now clean and even.  If they are not, however, continue on to the next steps.

Step Five – Fill using Content-Aware Fill:

For my pano of the Bay Bridge I didn’t want to crop in too tight, which left me with some space around the edges that I needed to fill in.

Photoshop has a feature called Content Aware fill that is simply amazing.  You start by selecting an area:

Step10-SelectAreaToFill-9

In this case I have selected the top left corner of the image.

Then, go to Fill under the Edit menu:

Step11-FillMenu-8Make sure Content-Aware is selected, and hit the OK button:

Step12-CAFill-11

This should give something like this:

Step13-AreaFilled-10

You will notice that Photoshop has sampled the area around the selection and filled it in appropriately.  It really is amazing.  Now, repeat for the rest of the areas that need filled and you are good to go.  Do any final tweaking on the image you want, and viola, you have your stitched pano:

BayBridgePano-13

I hope this was helpful, and also that it shows that you can make wall sized prints from the tiny little Fuji X100s, its predecessor the Fuji X100, or the newer Fuji X100t.  It is a very capable little camera.

Until next time!

8 thoughts on “Shooting Stitched Panoramas with Fuji X100 Cameras

  1. Dave Y says:

    Ian, thanks for the article as I love working with x100s whenever possible. The x100 series, or at least the S has a panorama mode that works very well for this sort of thing. The down side I’m sure, is that it probably only works as jpeg. Thanks again.

    • Ian says:

      Thanks for commenting!

      The auto panorama mode is ok, but I find this method much better: I shot the component images in RAW, meaning I had greater latitude in editing them. I also had more control over the size of the final image.

  2. Stacy P. Fischer says:

    Ian, I stumbled upon your blog after googling cases for the X100T and I’ve been following link after link, enjoying every post I’ve read! As I read the one on your trip to San Francisco and how your stitched together images for your panos, I so wanted to know how you accomplished it in PS. And voila, there was another post. And when I wondered about shooting horizontally or vertically, you addressed that question too!

    Wonderful posts, wonderful blog (I’m a happy new follower), and delighted to read all about the Fuji x series (I just purchased the T and love it!)

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