There are times when you find yourself in front of a awesome, overwhelming scene that you just have to share with family and friends. Occasionally the view is just too big, too wide, or too tall to be all taken in with your camera. It might be a palace in Vienna or a mountain valley in the Rockies and you just want it all. Your friends with their fish-eye lenses (and the eighty-five-pound camera bag) just smirk and capture the shot.
So can you!
How? Same way you eat a sandwich, one bite at a time – but I am getting ahead of the story. There is a marvelous “extra” for Windows Live Photo Gallery called Microsoft Composite Editor. Let me demonstrate. My expense allowance for this blog wasn’t quite enough to take me to the Alps or London so I settled for my county park. Here is the problem: This old barn won’t all fit in one picture. It cannot all be captured in one shot. But it can be done with many of them! So shoot overlapping pictures, right and left and up and down. I got carried away a bit and took twenty shots, but that’s ok. Better to have more than you need.
So next to Windows Live Photo Gallery and in Extras to the neat and marvelous Image Composite Editor . Don’t have it?
Click on Download more photo tools and work your way to Microsoft Image Composite Editor. Download it and let it install. Restart Photo Gallery.
Now in Photo Gallery select the pictures you wish to combine into your wide-angle picture. This time in Extras you now have Create Image Composite. Click the option and the editor opens in a new window and processes the selected pictures.
Now the fun begins. When the Image Composite Editor has processed the selected images it presents the result.
It offers a great deal of control over your composite. Note in the screen captures above how you can “shape” the picture. I won’t go into details here, it is just too much fun to do yourself! When you have the picture the way you like it, you can crop it or let the editor do an auto-crop. Then “export” the picture. Here too you have a range of options over size and quality. In not much more time than it took to read this blog you have your wide-angle shot. And you have more control over it than your friends with the fish-eye lenses.
Just for fun here is another example to show that you can even do it with pictures taken looking down: First the normal shot and then the final wide-angle composite.