Create a panorama with windows photo gallery program

We were recently in Estonia (the capital, Tallinn is 501 kilometres from Stockholm, or 1 hour by plane or 15 by ferry), for a week and as the weather had warmed up, the countryside was laid out in that particular shade of vibrant yellow-green that’s deeply calming and energising for your soul.

estonia countryside-800

While we were wandering around admiring the pristine countryside I thought why not take some panorama photos to capture that beautiful long line of green.

So thanks to Lauri’s tiny Canon Powershot SX260 camera I took a succession of shots then assembled them later in the Windows Photo Gallery program.

Windows Photo Gallery

Many cameras these days do actually have panorama settings built in, but if you’re interested in learning how to use Windows Photo Gallery program to make one, the step by step guide is below.

IMG_3347 Stitch (2)-2000

The shot above I took near Otepaa in southern Estonia, (where estonians go for winter skiing and ice skating). The photo is straight out of the camera, except four vertical shots were taken of the scene then assembled later with the panorama tool in windows photo gallery program.

It's an easy way to create a beautiful panorama scene.

  • Just be careful to zoom in 100% and check if there are any unusual anomalies once assembled- along where the photos are joined- sometimes there can be shadows etc, which you’ll want to erase.

Here it is after I’ve cropped out the black edges.

IMG_3347 Stitch.2000

And here it is after I’ve processed it in Perfect Effects 9.

IMG_3347 Stitch copy_filtered-2000

There are probably better panorama programs out there but this program is free and easy to use. You can download it here.

Steps to create your own Panorama

1. Open windows photo gallery program. You can get it here if you haven’t got it. It should open up in the Home part of the menu.

2. Find your images: on the left side of the program window there should be a list of all the folders and devices. You can import photos directly by finding your camera card amongst this drop down list (it should be under Devices down the bottom) and clicking on it.

This can be quite fiddly so I find it quicker copying the photos you want to your computer first to a designated folder you’ve already created. That way you don’t end up with hundreds of photos clogging up your computer memory.

Screenshot windows photo gallery
3. Once you’ve found your images and they’re showing in the window panel (which is normally grouped into months), select all the photos you want in your image. You do this by holding down the shift key continuously and selecting the images one after the other (all the while with the shift key down).

4. Then find the Create tab at the top of the program menu. Click on that and you’ll see a number of options for your photos: set as desktop, panorama, photo fuse, auto collage, etc and you can even publish to flickr, youtube and facebook from this section of the program later if you want.

5. So click on Panorama and that’s it. A window opens up that shows the program stitching together the images. (Sometimes it doesn’t work because the  photos are too different or have gaps etc. Just make sure when you’re taking the photos that there’s overlapping areas between each shot.)

6. When it’s finished its job, another window opens automatically prompting you to save the panorama photo. Click Save then you’re done. It will open up straight away and you can view your shot in all its glory.

Cropping out the Black

Normally, at first, you’ll see black areas around your panorama photo where the photo isn’t square. Don’t panic you can get rid of this easily. 

1. Just open Edit from the menu at the top then click on Crop. (You can also apply proportions and other options from this button too if you like.)

2. Once clicked, an adjustable rectangle with handles will open up on your photo. Just select and drag the tiny handles at the sides of the rectangle to select what you want in your photo. ie everything outside of the rectangle will be cropped away.
Normally I take the rectangle right to the limits of the photo and before the black, so you get the most image in. (You can crop to set dimensions ie 3/4, using Proportions under the Crop tool.)

3. Once that’s done click on the Crop button again and it crops away the black automatically and you have your shot without the ugly edges.
(If you want to save a copy of the original with all the black just click on the Make a Copy button on the Edit toolbar before you crop the photo.)

That’s it. You’ve got your lovely panorama photo. Happy creating!

ps I’ve discovered another free panorama tool called Panavue Image Assembler. You can get it here. Haven’t tried it yet but it looks interesting. Unfortunately the company seems to have closed which is sad but they’ve very generously offered this product for free.



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