The result looking like a fisheye is probably normal because your combined angular field of view was very wide, right?
The horizon being bowed is because you didn’t shoot your images equally distributed above and below the actual horizon since the Grand Canyon is all below the horizon if you were shooting from the rim, or mostly above horizontal if shooting from the canyon floor. The panorama creation algorithms don’t know and just guess that the horizon is halfway from the top and bottom of the images, at least if there are no clues from vertical poles or straight edges in the image.
Anyway, what you need is different software that allows adjusting the horizon point up and down, as well as changing the projection after the stitching has occurred. There may be some way to use mapping of your panorama onto a sphere and then use 3D manipulation in PS but I am not sure how to do this so cannot really advice if and how it might work.
What I would recommend is getting dedicated panorama software that allows extensive tweaking of many things including the horizon and projection.
One possibility is HugIn, an open source project that is both free and complicated to understand although very powerful once you do. I’ll let you Google for it, as I remember it wasn’t too hard to find.
The product I use which is also reasonably powerful and a lot easier to understand but also not free is AutoPanoGiga from http://www.kolor.com/ I think it has a trial option so you can get the feel of how it works before deciding if you want to pay for it.
Thank you. I will research the software. Hoping for a fix in photoshop that would allow me to correct the horizon once the pano is created, only so that I can retain the maximum amount of information per photo so as to have more latitude in editorial.
I appreciate the thorough response.
If anyone out there can give insight to options within photoshop and/or lightroom, it would be certainly appreciated.
Looking into the above now.
I don't create panoramas using that many images. But I have found the adaptive wide-angle filter helpful to straighten out unwanted curved lines.
You cannot maintain everything in raw format once it has been opened in Photoshop. Photoshop cannot edit raw image data, and cannot save raw images. That is why Lightroom and/or Camera Raw are needed. By the time the images are open in Photoshop they are no longer raw. That is why they have to be saved in a different file format.
Jim has the right answer. In general you do not want to use Photoshop for panoramic stitching as it does such a poor job but if you do, the adaptive wide angle filter will straighten your horizon very quickly. See this video for how it works: Repairing Panoramic Images with the Adaptive Wide Angle Command | Understanding Adobe Photoshop CS6 | Adobe TV
AMAZING! THANK YOU!
Thank you both!!!