Share this photo on Twitter Share this photo on Facebook

Aquatic Park Panorama

Posted by
Stephen Phillips (San Francisco, United States) on 24 August 2010 in Cityscape & Urban and Portfolio.

San Francisco

(note - a good tutorial on doing a photo merge is at the bottom of this page)

The images that have been posted here these past four days have all come from this single photo-merge in Adobe Photoshop. I just find this process so very impressive - and simple. Key to these images:

Friday 8/20 Red - historic ships, Fisherman's Wharf, and the Bay Bridge
Saturday 8/21 Blue - Coit Tower and Telegraph Hill
Sunday 8/22 Green - North Beach and The Financial District
Monday 8/23 Orange - Ghirardeli Square and Russian Hill

To VIEW the PANORAMA click here:

( use your horizontal scroller bar to view the entire image )

Image Dimensions: 308.5 megapixels - approx. 55 x 11 inches ( 139 x 28 cm ) at 300 dpi

Six RAW captures from my Canon 5DmkII went into creating the base composite image. I can't imagine how long it would have taken to process this in Photoshop, fifteen or twenty years ago. CS4 did the the job in less than half-an-hour. That included doing automatic vignette and distortion corrections on each image and then computing seamless edits to the stitching.

After Photoshop completed the photo-merge - I immediately saved it, so that I could open it in Lightroom. This allowed me to apply my corrections and sharpening there before going back to Photoshop for cropping and final clean-up of any artifacts (there were almost none).

I did find one error that stood out. Coit Tower had what appeared to be an arched concrete growth popping up at its top. It was an easy fix.

If you want to try this - here is a link to the Layers Magazine tutorial using Photoshop CS4. It will also work with CS3 - and I've seen a demonstration in CS5 that really rocks:

(you will need to cut and paste this link)

Don't be intimidated in trying this for yourself. Any decent digital camera will produce good results. Using a sturdy tripod and allowing a good overlap of each of your images is key to getting really fine results.

Pretty cool, Adobe...

© copyright 2018 by Stephen Phillips Photography / Oakland, California /
please respect these rights - do not copy or use these images without permission.

Alun from cheshire, United Kingdom

very good work, well done

24 Aug 2010 5:19am

Magda from Vancouver, Canada

Thank you so much for sharing! This is just great! :) Sounds complicated but I will have to give it a try one day!

24 Aug 2010 5:36am

@Magda: That was the big surprise - this is disarmingly simple, Magda. Photoshop does all of the work - brilliantly. If you are interested - view the tutorial:

Marie LC from France

Beautiful work Stephen. It allows us to have a global vision of this coast.

24 Aug 2010 6:24am

Annie from Bordeaux, France

I like the idea but why can not we see each square of color in a big size? I only see the orange square in big. ;o)

24 Aug 2010 11:02am

@Annie: Annie - the photographs represented by those colored squares were posted during the previous four days - August 20 - 23. The large version link today has no colored rectangles superimposed. You will need to use the scroll-bar sliders on your screen to see the whole image. Best to you. I hope you will try creating a panorama for yourself.

Anthony Morgan Lambert from Bielefeld, Germany

Thanks for the tutorial and a great series of shots culminating in this super panorama Stephen..

24 Aug 2010 11:32am

digitalCG from Manchester, United Kingdom

Great work, I'm finding panoramas more and more fascinating at present. For those working on a PC who haven't got Photoshop or don't need such fine control, I've found the free Microsoft ICE program to be excellent.

24 Aug 2010 11:58am

Evelyne Dubos from Le Mans, France

The big size is really nice and the panoramic view in its entirety is impressive.

24 Aug 2010 12:27pm

Denny Jump Photo from Easton, PA, United States

Thanks very much for the tips and tutelage as well, Stephen...much appreciated. I have a ways to go froma strictly "knowledge based" standpojt and a "confic=dence " standpoint as well but i will look at thes for sure. Do you happen to know if any of this wil work using Aperture3?? rather than Lightroom?

24 Aug 2010 1:11pm

@Denny Jump Photo: Hi Denny. I'm not familiar with Aperture3 - but Lightroom is definitely not required. Here is the Layers Magazine tutorial link to creating a Photoshop photomerge: you will find how to do this from Lightroom, Bridge, or in Photoshop as a stand-alone. Photoshop does all of the heavy lifting.

Denny Jump Photo from Easton, PA, United States

Tanks Stephen - I will definitely check this out. I do have Photoshop Elements but not CS4 ...trying to see what I can suse without buying anything right now, know what I mean? At least for awhile :-) Thanks sir!

24 Aug 2010 1:55pm

@Denny Jump Photo: I haven't tried it - but 'digitalCG' suggested he uses Microsoft ICE to create merges. Free, free, free!

Calusarus from St Sorlin en Valloire, France

Nice job. Cheers

24 Aug 2010 3:01pm

kate from lincolnshire, United Kingdom

superb image!!! and landscape!

24 Aug 2010 5:12pm

Curly from South Shields, United Kingdom

Quite an enjoyable view in the large original version, I've used Photoshop CS4 a number of times for it's Photomerge capabilities, surprisingly simple compared to others such as Panorama Factory, and if you have plenty of RAM the time frame is very acceptable.

24 Aug 2010 5:16pm

@Curly: Thanks for mentioning this, Curly. Several months back my business partner suggested I add some ram to my desktop and it made a huge difference in performance. I'm sure I would have needed to close all my other operations (especially Firefox) and probably gone to lunch to run this the way it was. This is a good point.

Sunder from Chennai, India

Fantastic work...Very impressed, Stephen...
Many thanks for sharing these pictures and the relevant info...

24 Aug 2010 5:31pm

Ralph Jones from Detroit, United States

I love technology (308.5 megapixels - approx. 55 x 11 inches ( 139 x 28 cm ) at 300 dpi) Thanks for the link.

24 Aug 2010 5:38pm

Susan from Pompano Beach, by Fort Lauderdale, FL, United States

Well, this shot is a great reason to get sick for a few days, and not have the energy to look thru my blogwatch for days......get to see the full shot, and then check out all the pieces.....Another great job.......someday, I'm gonna try this !!!!

24 Aug 2010 8:14pm

@Susan: Come on, Susan - I thought you were gonna get sick in order to chase Jaycee up the leader board in 'Bejeweled'. You need to set your priorities, m'lady...

Phil Morris from Saskatoon, Canada

Wow, sounds totally too good to be true, but you are a genius and we thought
we were looking at different views with no relation. You are a gifted blogger.

24 Aug 2010 10:38pm

Wild Mustang Photography from Carlisle, United States

Wonderful! Great composition and fabulous work!

24 Aug 2010 11:06pm

dj.tigersprout from New York City, United States

brilliant Stephen -- brilliant!!

27 Aug 2010 7:31pm