Planning the Four Panels (Part 3 in the Blackwater series)

At this point, our Blackwater panorama was massive – over 14,000 pixels wide.  Even without up-rezing, it would print as an enormous image.  Stitching together 14 hi resolution images really results in large files!

But we knew that not everyone would be interested in purchasing such a large image.  We had seen triptychs in galleries and on others’ sites, and thought this approach might be useful for breaking our panorama into more manageable panels.  At first, we tried to create the panels on our own in Photoshop.  Nightmare.  While this was possible in theory, the reality turned out to be beyond complicated.  Getting each panel perfect was nearly impossible, and we didn’t want to settle for anything less than the best.

Luckily, a bit of Googling lead us to an excellent Photoshop action for creating triptychs from Paul Jaruszewski.  We had never purchased an action before, but this was money well spent.  Paul’s action allowed us to preview a wide range of triptych choices (including the standard 3 panels, as well as 2 and 4).  It was magical – we highly recommend anyone interested in triptychs to look into this action.

We still needed to do quite a bit of work to size the image for printing, though. We use Hahnemühle’s excellent Gallerie Wraps, usually in the Pro size (more about these in a future post). Even though the gallery wraps come in a wide range of sizes, what they make is what you get, so you’re limited to the lengths they make. Quite a bit of math later, we decided we would make each panel 12 inches wide, and 16 inches tall. This in mind, we went back to the panorama, and made some tiny changes to the overall crop to ensure that the panels would split at the right places. We wanted to be sure, too, that each panel would ‘work’ as its own image.

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