I mentioned Panorama Paul who uses a technique for vertical panoramas.
The idea is to get the effect of a wide angle shot with a lot of detail in the foreground and in the background by stitching a few photographs that have been focused on different parts of the scene together. He also does not shy away from mixing the exposure to bring together images that are exposed differently for the foreground and the background.
Paul has written an excellent tutorial for this as well and while I have been very satisfied with the way Photoshop handles stitching, I can see the usefulness of this technique for a combination of closeup and distance work - especially if the light does not allow you to use very small apertures.
I used the technique on an outing to the Ipswich nature reserve on Wed where I wanted to combine two landscape photographs into what would result as a portrait image of the river which is starting to freeze. I left the camera on auto-focus and also on aperture priority to get the best exposure for each scene.
The two tricky bits are aligning manually and getting the variable exposure to look natural. Paul pays attention to where the stitching is likely to occur when he composes the shot. To be honest I was not really thinking of this when I did and was probably lucky that I didn't run out of space in the photograph when I did the stitching.
I am quite happy with the result.
In photoshop, once I aligned the images with one set to about 50% opacity, I pushed the opacity back up and selectively erased with a very fuzzy brush to blend the two images. I then added a overlay layer with 50% gray and use the brush and the white and black to selectively lighten and darken the ice and river so that they blended continuously. Paul suggests a bit of a vignette to enhance the sense of depth and I applied this very lightly because I don't really like obvious vignetting.
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