Sometimes when you're out shooting that epic landscape, in order to capture the entire view, you need to shoot a series of images on location and then stitch them together afterwards in post-processing. I think we've all been there. Depending on which lens you're using, that can create the particularly frustrating challenge of dramatic image distortion. In a nutshell, the wider focal length of the lens, the more distortion you are likely to see when stitching shots together.
There are likely all manner of methods when it comes to actually capturing your images for stitched panoramas in the first place but if you find yourself in a situation similar to mine, where your gear setup just isn't wide enough to capture the scene the way you want to, then you might just have to resort to using post-processing as your method of balancing out your shot after-the-fact. When it comes to stitching images together that were all shot on a wide-angle lens, that pesky horizon distortion can be a pain to correct. Fortunately for us though, there is a relatively simple fix for that with a single filter adjustment in Adobe Photoshop.
In this short video, I talk about the “Adaptive Wide Angle...” adjustment filter within Photoshop. The tool itself is relatively simple to navigate, which is good news for us, making for less processing time. So far, this is the best tool that I have found for correcting those warped horizon lines that come often enough with stitched panoramas. Below is a before/after example of the shot that is processed in the tutorial video.
Hopefully this helps you the next time you find yourself shooting stitched images that have need of some horizon line distortion correction. This is my go-to technique for fixing this particular problem, but I'd love to hear what other methods you might have found successful for correcting these types of issues. If any of you have any other suggestions or techniques that you'd recommend for correcting distortion in stitched panoramas, make sure to comment below and let us know.