Tutorial – Instagram Pano Using Photoshop, How To

So picture this (no pun intended!)… You’re scrolling through your instagram feed and BAMMMM you see an amazing image and slide it to the left only to find it continues on as an amazing panorama with 2, 3 or even 4 images. You immediately get jealous and want to do it too, but how? Well this video tutorial will teach you an easy way using Adobe Photoshop that will takes a few minutes and costs you nothing.


***NOTE – I know there are app’s on the google play and apple store for this but A) they cost money and B) they limit your options as well as sometimes C) free versions of the apps add their logo or hashtag to your image (super annoying!!!). I know this because I have tried many of them! I’ve personally found the best way is to just do it yourself in Photoshop which just takes a small amount of effort. If you go to the effort of creating a beautiful image you should take those final steps to present it to the world in an amazing way.

The 2 MOST important pieces of information in this process are

  • Use the Photoshop crop tool in ratio mode. Ratio is different from other crop modes as it won’t change your image size but rather will crop for a particular ratio you set it at. Like for example you could set a ratio of 3 : 1, but this doesn’t mean Photoshop created a crop of 3 pixels by 1 pixel. It just created a frame that was 3:1, so that might be 900 px to 300 px. This just all depends on your own image size before your ratio crop. So this is why we use a ratio crop 1st and then 2nd we resize it.
  • You can create these swipeable pano’s with any type of image and it works with just 2 panels. So this can be great if you want to post a standard sized Landscape photo cut up into 2 panels. Because we all know Instagram is horrible for landscape orientations as then end up looking about the size of a postage stamp on peoples phones. So what you can do is post your stamp and then in the same group you post your 2 cut pano images like I show below. That way people will be able to see all the effort you put in and explore the images in a much larger format on their phones.

In the tutorial I use RAYA PRO 3 to do my sharpening and colour preparation for the web. I can not rave enough about RAYA PRO and strongly recommend it to anyone who edits their images in Photoshop. The full list of what RAYA PRO can do is amazing! You can do anything from Luminosity masking, colour changes, selective adjustments to filters. Click here to view more details

Essentially the process is this

  • 1 – Create the correct crop ratio for 2, 3 or how ever many you want to be able to swipe across with your pano. These always have the same height of 1350 and then are just multiples of 1080 widths. So 1080, 2160, 3240, 4320… and so on
  • 2 – Resize your image in pixel width to this same dimension you used in your ratio (e.g. 2160 pixels x 1350 pixels for a 2 panel pano)
  • 3 – Crop out and Save each panel in order using the ratio 1080 x 1350
  • 4 – Transfer photos to your mobile device
  • 5 – Post on Instagram!
  • 6 – Enjoy the Likes and Comments

Tips and Helpful Hints

  • For 2 panel panos: after making your image ratio 2160 x 1350 and then resizing it to these same values in pixel dimensions you will only need to move your 1080 x 1350 crop panel to the far left or the far right. This is the easiest one to make.
  • For 3 panels: similarly you make the image size 3240 x 1350 and your initial 1080 x 1350 crop will start in the centre of the image so this is why I made this center panel crop 1st in the video tutorial. Then all you need to do is move your next crop to the far left and finally far right to have 3 perfect panels. You can always make Guides at 33.333% and 66.666% to get it perfect (see next section on how to)
  • For 4 panels: I didn’t show this in the video but Photoshop has guide markers we can place in our working space and the great thing about these is that when you move crop windows close to them they will snap into place exactly on the guideline. So, say for a 4 panel pano I would place guides at 25%, 50% and 75%. This will make sure that we have 4 exact widths and to do this you go up to the top of Photoshop and select View > New Guide. Now you want to type in the 50% (see below) and make sure vertical is selected and hit enter. You can repeat this for 25% and 75% and you will now have 3 markers to guide your crops.


Actually type in “50%”


Here you can see how I placed a 50% vertical guideline (it’s the blue line down the center) in this 2 panel crop below. They just make sure you get everything perfect.


Example Pano Crops

In these examples I wanted to show that you can use the whole image, or as much as possible, or you could get creative with the the crop and only show parts of an image. This is where the power of making these yourself in Photoshop lies. You can set how sharp you want it, the colour space, the size, the shape, the amount of panels… and so on 🙂







Hopefully you found this helpful. If you have any questions or comments you can leave them below and I’ll get to them as soon as I can. Or alternatively you could use the contact page on this site for any urgent questions.

Thanks and I’d be happy for you to share this process with your photography friends,


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