How To Create Instagram Panoramas
[A note from Scott: I’m excited to introduce you to my friend and colleague Dave William, who’ll be writing a column here on Tuesdays on the blog. Please give him a warm welcome and make him feel at home here with the crew. So glad to have him join our ranks. – SK]
I’m Dave Williams, a photographer from London, England, and I specialize (note the American spelling) in travel photography. I appreciate that saying ‘travel photography’ is extremely broad, but that’s what I love about it! I can go out and shoot nature, wildlife, people, landscapes, cityscapes, it all fits the category and it pushes me to challenge myself from time to time and allows me to get out and see the world.
I go by the stage name of Hybrid Dave, let me introduce myself. I am one-half of Hybrid Photography, an Instagram influencer, a Getty Images contributor and ambassador, a Lonely Planet contributor and a member of various professional organizations. You can find me on social media by searching for Hybrid Dave.
Apparently I was the subject of a meeting in the KelbyOne offices when there was a space to fill here on the website, and I’m so happy that I was asked to fill that space because throughout my journey so far in photography from the age of 14 when my dad got me the Nikon SLR for my birthday that I so desperately wanted (I’m now 32) I’ve sought inspiration, guidance and education from far and wide By far the best source for me has been Scott and his books, and the awesome team of educators at KelbyOne.
You may have seen my tutorials online before or in KelbyOne’s Photoshop User Magazine, and you may even have inadvertently seen my work in any number of places including Lonely Planet, National Geographic, Time, or even on billboards or in newspapers. From now on you’ll also see me right here every Tuesday on ScottKelby.com blogging for you all from across the pond! I’ll be sharing my favourite tips and tricks, some insider secrets, and perhaps a little bit of my own personal opinion on photography and Adobe Photoshop. Every week I’ll show you how I push the limits of what I have available to reach maximum potential in the highly competitive photography industry, how I make the most from it all in travel and wedding photography, and how to grow. I’ll provoke you with my thoughts and share skills with you wherever I can.
In today’s post, I’ll kick things off for you with a mini tutorial combining Adobe Photoshop with Instagram and show you how I make the most of Instagram’s new ‘multiple photo’ feature to showcase panoramic photos in a way that was never before possible on this social media platform.
Here’s a link to the shot on my profile if you want to explore how it feels, and here’s how to do it….
First off, we need to select the right image to make this work best for us. A good panoramic image for this technique is one which results in featuring a point of interest within each of the frames so that on each swipe the viewer has something engaging them to keep going. I’m going to use a shot of an awesome classic car dash which I found whilst wandering an artsy, bohemian district of L.A. with Peter Treadway and Stephanie Richer whilst we had a bit of downtime from shooting a wedding in the Agoura Hills.
We start by considering the math of the panorama. In a multiple shot post on Instagram you have to use the square format, so we need to break the image into perfect, equally divided squares. The width of each crop, therefore, must equal the height of the overall panorama, therefore the overall length must be a multiple of this height in order to seamlessly blend when the viewer swipes through. Keeping up?
We’ll take our shot and crop it to this criteria, which in this case is 7200 pixels wide by 2400 pixels high, resulting in three equal squares. Because the detail of the dash, which is what we want to feature in this shot, is in the top left portion of the photo we select the top left as the anchor point in the ‘crop’ dialog box once we’ve input the size of the crop, before clicking OK.
The result is this, which we now need to break into three.
To do this we’ll use the Crop Tool again. Select the Crop Tool but this time set the width to the same as the height, which is 2400 pixels in this case, and set the anchor point to the left.
The result is a square crop of the left of the panorama, which we can save under a relevant name. Once saved, simply go back by hitting CMD+Z (Windows: CTRL+Z) to step back to the whole panorama.
We need to repeat what we’ve done but select the middle square, so with everything as it was before except for the anchor point now being in the center, crop the image again.
And finally, to get the right-hand square, we crop the panorama one last time but with the anchor point set to the right.
Now we have three square images which we can send over to our phone and upload to Instagram. We need to use the ‘Multiple photos’ icon and select the three photos from our gallery in order from the left square as number one to the right square as number three.
Now it’s complete and our viewers on Instagram will be able to swipe seamlessly through a panorama in a way never before possible on Instagram, giving us an edge over the competition with a cool trick that’s only just beginning to be used. I haven’t seen this used more than a handful of times, but since I posted and began to write this little tutorial I’ve noticed that @NatGeoTravel have posted a beautiful panorama from Italy, so get in there while it’s still hot!