How to Create a Panorama in Lightroom
As photographers, we delight in finding and photographing landscapes all around us. Unfortunately, sometimes the full beauty of an expansive landscape can't be captured by and won't fit within a single image.
A great way to capture the full landscape you can see with your eyes is by creating a panorama. And you can do this in Lightroom by stitching multiple photos together into a panorama and then fill in the missing edges. It's an amazing feature you need to see to believe!
Follow these 5 steps to create a beautiful panorama in Lightroom:
1. Capture Images
Taking photos is the easy part for most of us. However, to create a successful panorama, you will need to capture several consecutive side-by-side images making sure to keep the same height level to the camera.
Also, make sure that your edge of your images overlap. This will ensure there are no gaps in the landscape when you create your panorama.
2. Import and Select the Images
Once you have imported the images into Lightroom, move to the Library Module and select all the images for your panorama. To select multiple images in Lightroom, highlight the first image and then hold down shift and click on the last image in the series.
3. Merge to Panorama
In this step, we are going to merge the files to a panorama. Right-click on one of the images. From the menu that opens, navigate to Photo Merge>Panorama. A dialog box will open and it may take a few minutes for the merged panorama preview to appear.
4. Fill the Edges of the Panorama
Once Lightroom has stitched together all your images into a panorama preview, it will appear in a dialog box with some options to choose from. Check the Fill Edges box.
Here are some other options that may help you fill gaps in your panorama as well.
- The Boundary Warp slider can help to remove some of the warp in your image.
- If Fill Edges fills the edges of your panorama with odd pixels that don't look good on your image, you can try the Auto Crop feature to just remove the missing edges. Or, if the errors are small, you can use the clone tool in Lightroom to fix it.
When you have the preview set how you like, click the Merge button at the bottom to complete your panorama.
5. Edit the Panorama in Lightroom
Once your image appears as a panorama in the Library Module, select it and move to the Develop Module.
There will be two parts to your panorama image editing process in Lightroom:
First, you will want to zoom in closely on your panorama and find any areas that look "wrong". These are areas where Lightroom pulled information from other parts of your image to FILL in the gaps. Some of these may look off and require you to fix them using Lightroom's cloning tool.
For instance, I had to fix an area in the bottom-right corner of my panorama as Lightroom had left parts of trees hanging in odd places. I wasn't able to see that issue in the small preview thumbnail.
Second, you will probably want to make some overall edits to your new panorama image now that the files have been merged. This is a great time to use your presets if desired.
For landscapes, I always enhance the sky to look more like how I saw it in person by adding some contrast, saturation, and clarity using the Graduated Filter tool. This is a great option for adding some color and life back to your sky. Don't go overboard with any of these settings as it can make your image look fake.
I love that Lightroom now has a powerful tool for merging your landscape images together to create a beautiful panorama and recreate a scene that a single lens would not otherwise be able to capture! And it's easy to use too, so give it a try and have fun!
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