How to Create Panorama in Lightroom CC

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  By Luiz Kim
How to Create Panorama in Lightroom CC

Have you ever desired to take a panoramic photograph and your camera doesn’t have the panorama feature? Do you want to do panoramas without switching to Photoshop or other specialized software? Have you forgotten to take your wide angle lens with you on your vacation? Do not give up on the amazing scenery that is in front of you. Following this tutorial, all you will have to do is photograph some parts of the scene and the software will process your images to produce a panoramic image within Lightroom CC (2015).For those who are not familiar with Panoramic Photography, it is a technique of photography that captures a series of images using a photographic camera and aligns them all together, to make a single photograph with a wider aspect ratio than a commonly used photograph.

Before Lightroom CC (2015) came out, in order to stitch together multiple images, you needed to switch between Photoshop or use other specialized software. Even though there are some cameras that have the panorama feature built into them, but most professional DSLR cameras do not.

Recently, after the latest update, you can create your panorama images inside Lightroom CC itself. The best part is that after the software process all the images, it will create a brand new seamlessly stitched RAW file from the images without rendering the images in pixels, with this new raw file, you will be able to retouch the panorama preset in Lightroom as you would any other image. So, you have to know first how to install Lightroom preset and once it has been installed, you can now create your panorama images inside the Lightroom CC.

Panorama is a feature that has been missing for a long time in the software. In order to create breathtaking panoramas, just follow the simple steps below.

Step 1 – Take multiple shots with your camera

  • With your digital camera take multiple pictures from left to right or from bottom to top, depending on the scenery you have chosen.
  • After the first shot is taken, while shooting the subsequent photos, make sure to get a little bit of the scene of the previous image so that Lightroom has data to render them together.
  • If you are using a DSLR or a camera that can manually change its settings, do not change the aperture of the camera. For example, if you use an aperture opening of F11 make sure you use it in every single shot.
  • I did not use a tripod to shot the images used in this tutorial, although it is not crucial, the use of a tripod is recommended.


Step 2- Import your images into Lightroom

Import the images that you have photographed.

File/Import Photos and Video 


Step 3 – Select the images

Select all the images that will be used. Shift+click the first image and click on the last image in order to select all the images.

If your images are not in sequence, (cmd+click on the mac or ctrl+click on the PC) on each image to select them.

There is no need to adjust your images on the Develop Module at this stage. We will do it afterward, on the final image.


Step 4 – Merge the images 

After selecting the images, go ahead and merge them together.

Photo / Photo Merge / Panorama (cmd+M on the Mac or ctrl+M on the PC)


Panorama Merge Preview box will appear.

  • Auto Select Projection: Lightroom will choose automatically which projection fits better.
  • Spherical: The images will be aligned and transformed as they were inside a sphere. Best for wider or multi row panoramas.
  • Perspective: The images will be aligned and transformed as they were mapped to a flat dimension. Best for architectural photography.
  • Cylindrical: The images will be aligned and transformed as they were inside a cylinder. Best for wide panoramas, but with straight lines.
  • Auto Crop: The white edges will automatically be cropped. You can also crop it later on even crop it inside Photoshop, that way you can recover these white areas.

click Merge after the best settings are chosen.

After that, Lightroom will render all the images together. Depending on your machine it may take some time to do the renderings.


Step 5 – Adjust the final stitched image

The neat thing is that Lightroom creates a brand new RAW file, that means that you will end up with the maximum capability to edit your image.final01

Select the new file and adjust it on the Develop Module as you would normally do in any other image.

In the end, you will end up with a nice panoramic picture.  So, did you enjoy our tutorial?  You may want to check on other tutorials such as How to Correct White Balance in Photoshop and let me know if you find it helpful.


You can watch this helpful video to learn how to make a panorama photo in Adobe Lightroom. This feature has been there for quite a while much like the HDR feature and they were kind of added at the same time. The feature is super easy and does a very good job of stitching together all the images no matter how many you have.

As we begin, you can see that we have eight images at the bottom which I took. These are almost 180 panorama and this was handheld since I did not have a tripod with me. As such, it’ll take a little bit more work for the program to go ahead and stitch them together. This is also a very tricky scene since as I was taking the image, the waves were constantly moving so it’ll also stitch those as well.

To get the panorama, I will highlight on all the images, right click on them, and then choose “Photo Merge” and then Panorama. This gives us a final rendering for the preview and it is clear that this is a little bit low quality and this is just to give Lightroom a little bit easier time to mess with it since it has many pixels to play with especially with eight photos.

We have several projection options to work with including spherical, cylindrical and perspective. The spherical was great for a wide panorama especially that transitions into objects that are kind of in the frame and so it’ll be the best one for the image we have because of the sphere that we have on the bridge. Cylindrical is kind of has the same effects as spherical but does a better job in making vertical line stay straight. However, we are interested more in the horizontal lines than in the horizon of the image, as this makes spherical much better. On the other hand, perspective is mainly suitable for real estate and architectural stuff as it seeks to do a lot of distortion.

We will, therefore, stick with the spherical projection. We have a couple of features such as auto crop which takes away the white space and kind of automatically crops it in so you don’t have to do it later. We also have boundary warp which is a new feature in Lightroom and kinds of take all the white features and stretches the image to try and fill out spaces in the image. We will use the boundary warp and increase the cover size to 100 and this fills in space very easily thus giving us an image that is perfectly fitting in the available space. We can opt to reduce the numbers and then do some cropping but this will mean going back into Photoshop to try and fill in the spaces.

With all the white spaces filled, we will click “Merge” and wait for the program to put all the images together. Once done, we will have an extra image on top of our initial eight. This is the panorama image which looks great and everything is stitched together perfectly.

The next step will be to fix some of the distortions which arise when we shoot panorama images especially if you have them handheld. To fix some of these distortions we will go to Lens Collection and enable for Profile Collection and then go to Transform and try auto to see whether it’ll collect things for us. However, this only does some minimal collections and therefore we will need to play around with the distortion. We will, therefore, go back to Lens Collection and try playing around with the distortion so as to get some straight line. We will need to change things such as scale, aspect, and the rest until we get the best results possible.

This done, we can go ahead and do the fun bit of changing the effects including the shadows, highlights, vibrancy, clarity and temperature to make it look like a sunrise. Once this is done, we will have our panorama image which includes all the eight images combined into a single image. If we want a large image, we will have a lot of data to play with. We can even crop this image to make it narrow one or crop parts of it to make different size photo print if we want to. All these will come out looking perfect since we have all the data to play with which is a combination of the eight images we had. This is the beauty of making panorama images since you have different cropping aspects and know that your image will come out very clear because of the data you have.

You can check more of our Lightroom tutorials as well as Lightroom Presets and Photoshop Actions to help you do your post-processing edits in an easy and remarkable way.

Rating: 3.00 based on 5 Ratings
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Luiz Kim is Photographer, Digital Retoucher, Food Photographer, Fashion Photographer, Still life Photographer. 12 years Photoshop experience, 8 years Photography, 7 years Lightroom experience. Photoshop teacher for 3 years at Centro Universitário Belas Artes de São Paulo. I've retouched for many magazines like Vogue UK, Vogue Brazil (Brazil), Casa Vogue (Brazil), RG (Brazil), TPM (Brazil). Ranging from skin retouching to vogue houses.

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