ABFriday Forum– Week 51

Week 51!!! 

Next week is the 1st Anniversary Edition and that will be extra special but there never will be another Week 51.

The AfterBefore Friday Forum has been adroitly managed by Stacy Fischer for 51 consecutive weeks, allowing anyone with an interest in image post-processing to participate.  Guidelines and this week’s edition are available for all to see at her Visual Venturing site.

My submission this week takes a look at one of my favorite tools in Photoshop, the Photomerge process.  If you have never tried this, it’s really easy to do.  For example, let’s stay with the theme of last week—“Road Trip”–and use a location that is a little further west:  Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park, Montana.  The late afternoon sun made the colorful boats stacked on the dock a natural subject and the result of the first image taken is shown below.

Robin Kent ABFriday Week 51 Before

First Image, Unprocessed RAW File

But while this was a reasonably decent image, it didn’t seem to convey the great expanse of the scene that I saw.  Thinking a panorama format would do the trick, a second shot (same exposure as the first) was taken with the camera swung to the left but partially overlapping the first image.

Both images were opened in Adobe Camera RAW, but only minimal changes were needed.  So minimal, we won’t waste time on them.  Next, they both were opened in Photoshop and then the command sequence File–>Automate–>Photomerge was executed to bring up the display shown below:

Robin Kent ABFriday Week 51 Before 03

The Photomerge Dialog Box

The first step is to click on “Add Open Files,” (Red Arrow) which brings all open images into the list.  If any appear that are not supposed to be there, highlight them and click on “Remove.”  Most of the time, the “Auto” process will work just fine (Red Arrow.)  Make sure you click on “Blend Images Together.”  (Red Arrow) Then click “OK.” (Blue Arrow)   Something like the screen capture below will appear.

Robin Kent ABFriday Week 51 Before 02

The process produces separate layers for each image used.  In this case we have only two (Red Arrow).  The image must first be flattened before any further work is done (Layer–>Flatten Image).  Next, a judicious crop removes the uneven edges (Yellow Arrows) and one is ready to continue with whatever additional adjustments are necessary.

Very little additional work was needed at this point.  A slight boost in contrast using a Curves Layer Adjustment (Preset: Linear; Blend Mode: Normal), then a neutral density gradient layer for the sky and mountains (Blend Mode: Soft Light), and finally, a teeny bump with a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer (Saturation: +6).  The final result is shown below.

Robin Kent ABFriday Week 51 After

Please visit Stacy Fischer’s Visual Venturing Site to see all of the other submissions.  There are always many interesting ideas to be found.


27 thoughts on “ABFriday Forum– Week 51

  1. Pingback: After-Before Friday Week 51 | Visual Venturing

    • Actually, I may not have been clear, the merge steps were after the images were opened in Photoshop. Only minimal changes were made in the Adobe Camera Raw steps. But the merge is really easy in Photoshop–as long as the images being combined have about 20-30% overlap.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Maybe I didn’t read well, lol. I didn’t realize it was in Photoshop either. I have to check this out!!


      • Not to worry. Give it a spin, it opens up all kinds of possibilities. Despite all the literature about lining up the images on a tripod, finding the nodal point and all that hoo-ha, you can take the pictures off tripod, hand-held, preferably by standing in one position, and just keeping the camera at close to the same level, moving it to the left or right (or both) to capture the images. Have fun!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks very much. There was a lot of luck involved. We had just pulled in, not looking for a photo op and there it was. The afternoon light was really nice. About 10-20 minutes later the sun went behind a mountain (left side, not in the image). And just at that moment, a photo workshop group came out to set up where I had been. But the good light ws gone.


  2. Great post Robin, thanks for taking us through these steps, its very informative and seems relatively simple, but that may be just because you are such a Ps ninja! Your panorama photo is so much better than the original, it gives way more depth and has far more impact. Loving the new series of “parking lot” photos! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks very much, Katie. Very kind of you to say. Yes, the “parking lot” often can be a great location. Of course, most of them are in parks, especially the National Parks. Probably the all-time best parking lot location is the one at Tunnel View in Yosemite National Park.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m always in awe what photo processing software can create…
    On another note, did you get a chance to take pics of Rolling Thunder in DC? My husband said he drove right through thousands of riders and it would have been a photo bonanza. Only problem, I wasn’t with him!

    Liked by 1 person

    • No, we were headed in the opposite direction that day. We pased a convoy heading east on I-66 as we headed west that morning. Leading the convoy, which stretched for several miles, was a phalanx of 5-6 police cars. Traffic was being held up on the access ramps as the cycles passed and finally, behind the last riders, was another phalanx of police cars, preventing impatient drivers from trying to pass through the procession. Your husband was certainly right, it would be a photo bonanza downtown. But we decided to opt for a place with a lower decibel level.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Robin, I know you’ve explained this to me before – I just haven’t grasped it until now, probably because I’ve now seen it work in Lightroom and using it in PS no longer seems intimidating. I plan to put pano merge without the use of a tripod thru some paces in the coming weeks!

    As for your merged images, a perfect example of how the function can create a much stronger image! Just spectacular. I feel as if I’m on that shore myself 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Well, I think Stacy’s comment answers my question. Besides getting excited about the merge, I was going to ask if the new merge in Lightroom acts the same as in Photoshop. Man I can’t wait to try this out. I love it. Your first image is great but your completed version, even greater! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s