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How to Create Panoramas in Affinity Photo

how to create panoramas in Affinity Photo

Want to create a stunning Affinity Photo panorama? It’s easier than you might think!

In fact, Affinity has a built-in, automated feature specifically designed to make creating panoramas easy and fun.

And in this article, I’m going to share with you the step-by-step process for both capturing and editing panoramas – so you can get beautiful results.

Let’s get started.

Affinity Photo Panorama of rice fields
A panorama created from 15 individual photos.
Nikon D800 | 105mm | f/8 | 1/640s | ISO 400
© Kevin Landwer-Johan

Taking photos for your Affinity Photo panorama

If you don’t have a lens wide enough to capture the vista before you or the skyscraper above you, then creating a panorama is a great option.

Panoramas are often made of wide scenes, but you can also create vertical panoramas of very tall subjects.

Alternatively, you can create an Affinity Photo panorama with images taken in a grid. That way, rather than making a wide or tall panorama, you can stitch together photos to capture an image both taller and wider than you could shoot with your widest lens.

Note that you can make a panorama of anything; it doesn’t have to be a wide or tall scene.

Lahu man Affinity photo panorama
Nikon D800 | 85mm | f/1.4 | 1/200s | ISO 400
© Kevin Landwer-Johan

Hardcore pano photographers will insist a tripod is necessary. Personally, I prefer not to use one when I make panoramas, with one exception: when I need a slow shutter speed and want to keep my camera steady.

Include overlap

When you take photos for a panorama, you must include a reasonable amount of overlap from one image to the next.

Without this overlap, Affinity Photo can’t seamlessly stitch the photos together.

But how much overlap should you include? Generally, I’d recommend around 25% or 30% overlap for great results.

When I take photos for a panorama, I look at an element in each frame about 25% from the edge. I then include that element in the next frame (also about the same distance from the edge). As I move my camera across or up and down while taking pictures, I am careful to line up the non-joining edges as evenly as I can. Trying to keep a straight line helps to make a panorama that will crop well.

Using a standard focal length lens or longer is best. If you use a wide-angle lens, you will run into problems lining up the images due to edge distortion.

cactus plants in a pot
I created this panorama using six shots (two columns of three horizontal photos).
Nikon D800 | 75mm | f/4 | 1/125s | ISO 400
© Kevin Landwer-Johan

Affinity Photo panoramas: the basics

Once you have a series of photographs for your panorama, open Affinity Photo.

If your photos are in RAW format, edit the colors and tones so the images look their best. Try to give each photo similar tones and color temperatures, because if your photos are different exposures or color temperatures, this will be noticeable.

I generally create a resized set of images for each new panorama. I make sure to reduce the file size, especially when I’ve taken a lot of photos. This makes it easier for Affinity Photo to manage many files at once.

(If you leave your images at full size and full resolution, you’ll be waiting a long time for your panorama to render.)

Affinity Photo panorama of rice growing
© Kevin Landwer-Johan

Import photos for your panorama

Once you’ve resized and saved your photos, go to the top menu in Affinity Photo.

Select File>New Panorama. This will open up a dialog box.

Click on Add, then navigate to the folder where you saved your images for the panorama.

Affinity Photo screen grab

Select every file, then click Open. The photos will be imported into Affinity Photo.

Then select Stitch Panorama. Once you’ve clicked this, you will see a preview of your panorama on the right and the individual files on the left.

Affinity Photo screen grab

If there are any images that Affinity Photo cannot stitch with the others, they’ll appear below the preview. 

Click OK. Affinity Photo will render your panorama and open it as a new document. This may take a while, depending on:

  • The number of images you have
  • How large each image is
  • How powerful your computer is

Tweaking your panorama in Affinity Photo

Once your panorama is rendered, you will most likely have some blank space around it. There are a few ways you can edit this. 

Cropping is the easiest. When you click on the Crop tool, a new menu bar will appear above your document. If you select the option to Crop to Opaque, Affinity Photo will automatically adjust the crop bounding box to exclude any areas that are blank. 

You can also rotate your panorama if your horizon or verticals are not straight. And you can freehand crop your panorama.

Another option is to Inpaint Missing Areas. You’ll see an icon in the middle of your screen above your document (though you’ll need to deselect the Crop tool first; otherwise, the icon won’t be visible).

When you click Inpaint Missing Areas, Affinity Photo will use its AI technology to autofill the blank areas around your panorama. This works best when there is not much detail along the panorama edges.

As you can see in my example below, Affinity has managed to fill in the sky very well. But at the bottom, the inpainting is not good because there’s too much detail in the rice field:

Affinity filling in blank areas

With the Inpaint Missing Areas tool selected, click Apply. Affinity Photo will render your panorama and present it as a single image file.

For this example, I chose to use the automatic inpainting because it filled in the sky nicely. Once my panorama rendered, I then cropped the funky area from the bottom where Affinity did not extend the rice field well.

Affinity Photo panorama of a rice field

Creating Affinity Photo panoramas: conclusion

Affinity Photo panoramas are very easy to create, especially if you’re careful to add plenty of overlap when taking your photos. 

If you haven’t tried creating a panorama, give it a go. Experiment with a simple series of images to start with. You can make a panorama with two to five photos to keep things less complicated. Then, once you have a feel for the process, start to include more images in each series.

Try using different focal lengths to see which you prefer. If you want to make a very detailed panorama, use a long lens and take lots of photos.

Remember, though: The more photos you include, the longer it will take to render your panorama!

Now over to you:

What types of panoramas do you want to create with Affinity Photo? Share your thoughts – and photos – in the comments below!

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Kevin Landwer-Johan
Kevin Landwer-Johan

Kevin Landwer-Johan is a photographer, photography teacher, and author with over 30 years of experience that he loves to share with others.

Check out his e-books and his website.