Posted on 4 Comments

Using Photomerge to Create Epic Lanscapes by Amy Berge

Using Photomerge to Create Epic Landscapes by Amy Berge on Shoot It With Film
Links to sites such as Amazon, Adorama, or KEH Camera may contain affiliate links to help support the site. If you like what we’re doing & want an easy way to support us, click one of those links before you do your shopping.

Written by Amy Berge

In March of 2017, I went on a trip to Arizona with my mom, brother, and sister. It was the second time we had gone to Arizona, but the first time I was shooting all film. I picked up a Nikon N80 for $20 (Find at KEH Camera or on eBay) and a 28-80mm 3.3-5.6G lens for $15. For $35, I had a system that weighed practically nothing, and it could be thrown into my backpack without worrying too much about damage while hiking around. I knew Michael Scott would be proud of my win-win-win.

Using Photomerge to Create Epic Landscapes by Amy Berge on Shoot It With Film

Horseshoe Bend and the Need for Photomerging

The system was working great until Horseshoe Bend.

Ah, Horseshoe Bend. If you haven’t been there, DO IT. It is the most majestic view I have ever encountered. The entrance is so unassuming; you have to intentionally watch for one of those tiny brown signs on the side of the road. It will whisper to you to turn into the dirt and gravel parking lot. Then, as you get out of your car and try to find the path leading up a small hill, you’ll wonder if you found the wrong Horseshoe Bend. No asphalt. No welcome center. Nowhere to pay money or buy trinkets.

But then, you’ll reach the top of the hill and fight the urge to look like an excited six year old running to hug Mickey Mouse. So you’ll keep your cool (because you don’t want a teen with a cell phone to record you stumbling like an idiot and wind up finding the video on Instagram) and walk down the hill toward the most beautiful scene you’ve ever encountered.

I navigated the scene well. I kept my cool and scouted out the exact location with the best view. I pointed my camera, widened the lens as far as it could go………and……..

WOMP WOMP.

Using Photomerge to Create Epic Landscapes by Amy Berge on Shoot It With Film

Apparently, my $35 setup had limitations. The view was so expansive I couldn’t capture it with my lens. I needed to figure out a way to do it at least a little bit of justice.

That’s when I took a cue from my iPhone in panoramic mode. I turned my camera vertically, pivoted my body, snapped six shots, and crossed my fingers that something could be used by Photoshop. Turned out, with the help of the Photomerge feature, it could, and I ended up with a version of Horseshoe Bend that elicits the memory of being up there.

Using Photomerge to Create Epic Landscapes by Amy Berge on Shoot It With Film

In fact, I loved this technique so much I did it a few times at the Grand Canyon.

Using Photomerge to Create Epic Landscapes by Amy Berge on Shoot It With Film

Using Photomerge to Create Epic Landscapes by Amy Berge on Shoot It With Film

What Is Photomerge

So what is Photomerge? Photomerge is a feature in Photoshop that will stitch several pictures together into one image, in this case, a panoramic image.

I think it’s an easy-to-learn technique every photographer should have in his or her back pocket. To watch me as I snap the shots, head over to my IGTV channel (@itsamyberge) or click this link to watch on a computer: https://www.instagram.com/itsamyberge/channel/

But this blog post is where I want to show you the stitching process. All you have to do is click some buttons and Photoshop does the rest for you. Sit back and watch the magic happen. You can also do it in Lightroom, but I find taking the extra step of opening the files in Photoshop is SO WORTH IT. Photoshop does a better job at merging the seams (especially for film shooters where each photo isn’t RAW, and they’re harder to merge due to inconsistencies with scanning).

How To Create A Panoramic Image With Photomerge

So here you have it: Amy Berge’s Embarrassingly Easy Steps To Creating Jaw-Dropping Landscapes

If you need Photoshop, you can pick up Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan with Photoshop and Lightroom here on Amazon.

  1. Open all the photos you want to merge in Photoshop

Using Photomerge to Create Epic Landscapes by Amy Berge on Shoot It With Film

  1. Select File->Automate->Photomerge

Using Photomerge to Create Epic Landscapes by Amy Berge on Shoot It With Film

  1. Include the files you just imported into Photoshop by selecting “Add Open Files”
  2. Guess which “layout” you want (I literally guess. Sometimes I go back and try again if I don’t like my results. In this example I found Cylindrical to work best. I don’t think I’ve ever used anything other than Auto, Perspective, and Cylindrical.)
  3. Check all the boxes at the bottom of the screen to allow Photoshop to correct distortion, remove vignetting, and fill in anything missing. It usually rocks at all of this, so I go with it.

Using Photomerge to Create Epic Landscapes by Amy Berge on Shoot It With Film

  1. Hit “OK”.
  2. Watch the magic happen

Using Photomerge to Create Epic Landscapes by Amy Berge on Shoot It With Film

At this point I save it and bring it back into Lightroom, because that’s where I keep all my files for browsing.

And here you have it. If you find yourself in front of a sweeping vista with your own $35 setup you will now have the tools to walk away feeling like you cheated the system.

Using Photomerge to Create Epic Landscapes by Amy Berge on Shoot It With Film


Thank you so much, Amy! Amy is a regular contributor here at Shoot It With Film, and you can check out her other articles here, including tutorials on how to develop b&w and color film!

Leave your questions about using Photoshop’s photomerge function below in the comments!

To see more of Amy’s work, be sure to visit her on her website and Instagram!

Learn to shoot film with the Film Love Workshop
Posted on 4 Comments

4 thoughts on “Using Photomerge to Create Epic Lanscapes by Amy Berge

  1. I’m just in awe over this. So cool and the images are GORGEOUS!

    1. Thank you!!!!! I’m sorry I missed this comment!

  2. These images are incredible! And thanks so much for sharing this tutorial. I’m curious about the type of film you used, if you wouldn’t mind sharing 🙂

    1. Hi Bianca! Thank you so much for your kind words!!!! I’d love to share the films I used:
      Horseshoe Bend: Kodak Ultramax 400
      Grand Canyon: Fuji Superia XTRA 400
      North Shore of Lake Superior: Kodak Color Plus 200
      All of the films are consumer films! I enlarged the Horseshoe Bend photo very large and it turned out perfectly. Stitching all those shots together creates such finer grain and beautiful clarity; it’s a great way to ensure you can blow up those landscape shots HUGE! Let me know if you have any other questions!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *