How to Create a Panel in Photoshop
Select the images you want in your panel and think about how you want them to appear in the Panel (eg. rectangular, square or even a mixture). Process the images and size them to suit. In addition think about the size and shape of the finished Panel itself.
Select and process the individual images making sure you convert to jpeg and have the colour profile as SRGB (Edit > Convert to Profile > select SRGB). NB: at this stage it’s worth thinking about the finished size of the images. It is easier to ‘fit’ a photo onto a grid if it is already sized to suit - so a triptych would be a different size/ shape to a square. To resize use: Image > Image Size > and select required size plus 300 px resolution.
The Next Stage Makes Use of Layers. Create a new layer as your background. Go to File > New - and choose a shape and size that fits. You could choose 1400 x 1050 px if you intend the Panel to be a PDI for projection. Select the Resolution to be 300. Select the Background colour - black, white etc. or transparent (you can change the background colour later). Select the Colour Profile as SRGB. Now working on the new blank image - add a new Layer (Layer > New) and name it. If you are doing a triptych of 3 images it could be left, right, and centre). If 5 images maybe 1,2,3,4,5. Repeat making new layers - one for each of the images you are using.
Working on your new blank image (probably ‘untitled’) go to View > New Guide Layout. This brings up a new panel for you to select how you want your Panel to appear. Guide Lines will appear so you can see the layout. Choose the number of columns (ie. 3 for triptych) and the number of rows (1 for a triptych or say 3 for a square). You can choose whatever configuration you want. Then choose the size of the margins, left, right, top, and bottom. You can change these to suit your particular choice of panel but I suggest you start with 0.2 cm for all. You can play with the the individual columns/rows and the margin sizes to suit what you want to achieve. Then go to: View > Snap to > Guides. By doing this once you position an image in the guide lines it will automatically ensure that it ‘fits’ the guidelines.
Now the Fun Starts!
Select your first image go to Select > All (marching ants around the image) copy the image (Cmd C on Mac, or Control C on PC) or alternatively Edit > Copy. Click on the layer assigned for your first image (eg. left, right, etc.) and paste that image onto the panel which is probably titled ‘Untitled’ (Cmd V on Mac, or Control V on PC) or Edit > Paste. Select the Move Tool and you can then resize and position your image in the correct position by clicking on and dragging the corner boxes. The image should snap to the Guide Lines. Repeat the process for the other images making sure you select the individual layers for the correct image you wish to add. If you want to change the background colour simply create a New Layer and ‘fill’ it with the Colour of your choice. Edit > Fill and select your colour choice. Drag the colour layer down so that it is below the layers that contain your images, and above the background layer (on the right hand side panel).
You can change the images in the panel around if you wish, just remember to select the layer for the image you want to move, then simply click and move using the move tool. You can remove the Guidelines by going to: View > Clear Guides. Now Crop to Suit At this point your file is large, so you will need to Flatten the image. BEFORE you do so make sure you are happy with the overall Panel image - once it is flattened you cannot reopen the layers and would have to start again!!
Make sure your final panel is saved as a jpeg, at no more than 1400 x 1050 px and SRGB so that it can be projected. If you are printing then you can choose other settings/sizes.
How to Create a Panel in Lightroom.
Select the images you want in your panel and think about how you want them to appear in the Panel (eg. rectangular, square or even a mixture). Process the images and size them to suit. In addition think about the size and shape of the finished Panel itself. NB - Lightroom automatically allows three images on one line. If there are more than three images, then the images will be placed on two lines and will be centralised. Create a Collection (not a smart collection) and add the images you want to include on the Panel. Then Select all - and use the N key (Survey Mode) and the images appear without the tab around them. At this point you can move the individual images around to choice. They will align on their centre line. If you want to flip an image, right click on that image and select ‘Transform’ and then select flip. At this point the L key turns lights on and off, press L once to reduce background, press L again to eliminate the background and press L a third time to reinstate the background/ panels. Then take a screen shot of the Panel with the background eliminated (using the L key) and then import back into the Catalogue. Then crop to suit. Then Export as a jpeg to correct size (1400 x 1050) and colour profile SRGB.
Voila!! Sept 21