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Lightroom Panorama Tool | Create Panoramas In A Few Simple Clicks

By Trevor Dayley on August 17th 2015

Creating Panoramas

Prior to the new Lightroom CC, I often used third-party apps or Adobe Photoshop in order to create and edit my panorama pictures. In the previous videos and articles, I shared with you my first favorite tool: the dehaze slider, and my second favorite tool: the auto crop & straighten tool. In this tutorial, I’ll show you my third favorite tool in Lightroom CC: The Panorama Tool.

Lightroom Panorama Tool | Create Panoramas In A Few Simple Clicks

A Few Simple Clicks

First, import the images you want to to use for your panorama. Then click the first picture, hold shift, and click the last image so that it highlights all the images in between.

Highlight the images > Go to photo on the menu bar > Photo merge > Panorama

After Lightroom finishes merging your pictures, the final panoramic image can be found at the end of your catalog and library.

A Few Tips On Shooting Panoramas

    • Make sure your images overlap a little as you pan and take photos. This allows Lightroom to recognize that space and allow for smoother merging.
    • Something I like to do is to shoot additional photos around the top and bottom edges because Lightroom will crop out the sky or ground.
    • Don’t be afraid to be sloppy and fire off a lot of shots that overlap, Lightroom will figure it out.

Creating Panoramas With Sloppy Images

Another example I wanted to show you were some images I took when I was traveling through Italy. I came across this plaza that I wanted to show my kids so I took a bunch of sloppy photos and decided I’d stitch them together later in post.

As shown above, the images I took are pretty messy and all over the place. I wanted to see how Lightroom would handle this image, and how effective the Panorama tool would be in a situation like this.

As you can see, it does a pretty amazing job.


I hope you guys enjoyed this quick tutorial on my third favorite tool in Lightroom CC. If you’d like to learn more about Lightroom, please take a look at our Lightroom Workshop Collection. Stay tuned for the next video, and please subscribe to our YouTube channel if you’d like to be updated with our latest tutorials and interviews.

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Terms: #Panorama

Trevor Dayley is a full-time wedding photographer based out of Arizona. He has six kids and has been married for 15 years. When he is not shooting weddings, he loves helping the photo industry. He has written hundreds of articles and shared countless tutorials. In 2014, he was named one of the Top 30 Most Influential Photographers in the Industry and one of the Top 100 Wedding Photographers by BrandSmash.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Taposy Rabeya

    Such an excellent and helpful tips. Thanks a lot.

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  2. Ralph Hightower

    Slick! I need to go to CC. Creating a panorama in Corel Paint Shop Pro was a pain!
    Can Lightroom CC work with JPEGs? I did panos using film.
    I wonder how Lightroom CC would do for a 3 frame pano that I took from the dammed side of a lake; I tried my best to blend the clouds, the lake ripples and it was so-so. I did another pano in a cove where the lake was smooth and it was awesome!

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  3. Don Weber

    Great information. Thank you

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  4. Dave Haynie

    I have been using Lightroom’s panorama function as an alternative to Autopan Giga, the program I usually use. The advantages are obvious: you’re right there in Lightroom early the evaluation process, and the result of a merge is a DNG, not a TIFF, so it basically maintains the raw workflow that Lightroom enables.

    But it’s only good for basic panoramas… quite often, when I’m stitching photos together, I’m doing “composites”, not simply panoramas. You get into that even doing straight pans — the need to force which features you want to include or not include in the merged photo. It’s not as sophisticated as a stand-alone program, it’s only got three projection options, no control of common points, etc. So it’s good for the basics, but not the whole answer… then again, I shoot lots of pans, quite often hand-held (using the in-viewfinder level when I shoot with the OM-D), often do 2D merges (eg, several rows of panoramas, if you’d like to think of it that way).

    So, a couple of tips for getting more out of Lightroom’s function. Lightroom is dependent on detecting motion between shots, and it’ll fail you if it can’t figure the motion. So you depending on your shots’ overlap, you can get a merger using fewer shots.. leave some out if there’s not enough overlap. For a 360 degree shot, you have no control over how Lightroom decides to center it, not directly. But you can do a couple sub-mergers, ensuring overlap, and sometimes it’ll figure out a second merge.

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  5. norman tesch

    how many images can lightroom handle? curently i have been using pt gui because my panos are 90 images up to 200 as my largest. my panos are also 7 stop hdr. you cant hand hold that. i also use nodal ninja to avoid paralax that may be why ben young from earlier comment cant get his pics to align and stich together.

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    • Ben Young

      The Manfrotto device I refer to is a panorama head which I have carefully setup to avoid paralax problems.
      So it can’t be that. Like I said, Photoshop doesn’t have any problems with stitching, so it must be Lightroom.
      Though it doesn’t happen to all of my panoramas, just the minority.

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  6. Bill Bentley

    Good article. If you are using an older version of LR without this feature and are on a PC then Microsoft has an excellent, free program for stitching. MS Image Composite Editor. It’s not a toy like MS Paint. It works very well and fast.

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  7. Peter Nord

    Holding down the shift key while pressing control M has Lightroom create the pano in the background. Hold shift while selecting the menu choice above and you see the shift-ctl-M short cut displayed. That way you can do several pano images simultaneously in the background. What amazes me is the computing power in an iPhone which you just wave over a scene automatically creating a pano. Wouldn’t it be great to have that computer power in your D810 or 5Ds. When will the camera makers catch up or is it catch on?

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  8. Andre Queree

    One more tip (something you’ve done here but not mentioned): shoot your pano shots in portrait format so there’s extra vertical image for Lightroom to use.
    Lightroom does an ok job at this for me, even on handheld shots. I’ve gone back to using Photoshop for it though for two reasons:
    – content aware fill is invaluable for filling in any gaps.
    – there’s no option to resize the resulting pano in Lightroom and I don’t always need a 20,000+ pixel wide image.

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  9. Ben Young

    I’ve been using the panorama feature in LR and have found that some photos just wont stitch together properly.
    And I shoot my panoramas on a sturdy tripod with a Manfrotto MH057A5-LONG with plenty of overlap.

    I don’t know what it is. but for some photos I just have to go back to Ps to get the photos aligned up properly.

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  10. Max C

    That was some good info, thank you.

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