Presidential Panoramas

February 24, 2010 · 4 comments


Before my regular hiking companions moved away, I spent a lot of time in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. I documented some of the trips with photos, and when I acquired a new Canon digital Elph camera, I tested its panorama feature. I would take a photo, pan to the left or right, and line up the next shot with the edge of the previous shot, which was partially displayed in the viewfinder. Ideally I would have used a tripod, but that would have been one more thing to lug up and down a mountain.

It wasn’t until two years ago while I was reorganizing my photo library that I found four sets of panorama photo shots from the hikes. I stitched the first set together by hand using Photoshop, but it was a laborious process. I loaded it up on a web page for friends to see, promised to create the other three images, and promptly forgot all about it.

Yesterday I read about some auto-stitching software that could assemble panoramas in less than a minute. Remembering the three uncompleted images in my library, I fired up the program, loaded the images, and waited for the results. The results were perfect color-balanced panoramas with no obvious seams.

You can see them here. The only post-processing work I did was to crop them to rectangular dimensions and change the resolution to web display. The first image is my original attempt; you can see the variations in color balance across the photo. (I’m the guy in the dorky hat in the last photo. It gets cold and wet up there.)

I miss those trips, but now that He Who Will Not be Ignored has expressed an interest in seeing those mountains, I think it’s time to get back into shape for the summer hiking season.


dean cameron February 24, 2010 at 5:06 pm

these are beeyootiful!

David February 24, 2010 at 8:13 pm

Thanks, reader!

Jamie O'Keefe February 24, 2010 at 6:16 pm

I use Panorama Maker (, because it came with my Nikon camera. It works on the Mac and Windows. I have used it for a bunch of the house shots as well as trips, especially with our 2005 trip to Utah (

It will create an images with sharp edges and right angles ( or not ( I should get the Pro 5 version.

David February 24, 2010 at 8:14 pm

I used PTgui Pro.

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