I’ve been making panoramas with Photoshop for a long time. I’ve made them using 35mm film images and digital camera images– many of them without the very helpful Photomerge filter in Photoshop CS3. This article assumes you’re shooting with a digital SLR camera or some digital camera that allows you to shoot in Camera Raw mode. If you are not using a digital camera, or if your camera doesn’t shoot in Raw mode, then the steps would be similar after the section about the Raw filter.
Although you can create panoramas with earlier versions of Photoshop, I’d recommend using Photoshop CS or later because they allow you to have 16-bit layers. Such layers allow you to do more radical color and contrast corrections and still maintain quality detail and smooth tonal changes.
When shooting panoramas, it is best to have your camera on a tripod with a head on which the camera can be rotated from side to side, without it moving up or down or skewing. (Ball heads don’t work well for panoramas.) The tripod and camera should be level when you start. Quickly shoot the pictures from left to right, or right to left, with each picture overlapping about 1⁄3 of the frame. I suggest quickly so that clouds, people, cars, etc. don’t move too much from frame to frame. Wide-angle images are more difficult because the corners of each image are distorted differently from those of the next. Using a 60mm-equivalent lens (with traditional 35mm film- camera format) minimizes distortion.