Available as part of Windows Live Essentials 2011, Windows Live Photo Gallery is a superb tool that facilitates the management and sharing of your digital photographs and images.
Additionally it can also be used to repair photos and perform useful tasks such as emailing photo albums, ordering prints and even creating movies (with a little help from Windows Live Movie Maker)!
One of the most useful tools provided by Windows Live Photo Gallery is the ability to create panoramas from multiple images. Rather than struggle to line up your photos manually after taking a series of snaps of an impressive coastal vista or the stars at night, use Windows Live Photo Gallery to arrange them and stitch them together!
Choosing Photos for Your Panorama
Windows Live Photo Gallery won’t stitch together any old series of snaps – your panorama must be a true series of 2 or more images that when connected will make up a larger, more impressive photograph.
As such you need to be careful of the images you choose – key elements must be in largely the same position, such as the landscape, placement of landmarks, etc., so that the software can align them correctly.
As you can see in the example above, a certain amount of black space is present at the top and bottom of the image after the panorama is created; this should give you an idea of what the software can do in terms of lining up these main elements.
Creating a Panorama in Windows Live Photo Gallery
With Windows Live Photo Gallery installed on your PC, you will have a single application that will provide a means of searching for and managing your digital photographs. Creating a panorama requires only a little input from yourself – the application does the hard work!
Begin by browsing your gallery of images to find the ones you want to add into the panorama. In the upper left corner of each thumbnail you will see a small check box – you will need to tick these for each image you want to add.
Next, go to Create > Panorama; if Windows Live Photo Gallery will run through a quick analysis to check that it can stitch the images together. If a panorama cannot be created the application will inform you, otherwise sit back and watch as your vista is created!
What to do Next
The completed panorama might look great, but you will possibly find that it doesn’t look ready to share. Like the image above, there may be black portions created by the process of adding the images together that need to be cropped out.
To do this, open the photo in Windows Live Photo Gallery and on the Edit tab use the Crop button to change the focal area of the image, dragging the placeholders around so that everything you don’t want is outside of the grid. Once you’re happy go to Crop > Apply crop to apply the change.