One of the best ways to learn about something is to play around with it. Lightroom CC has added some new features including merge to panorama. Now we will probably all try out how it works the regular way, but I like to ask the “what if” questions and see what kind of trouble I can get into. This is often where I can find out how far I can push a feature or get unexpected results that lead me in new directions of inspiration.

So I have three pictures that were taken in the same place as folks walked by and I wanted to see how Lightroom would handle them if I tried to merge them as a pano. They were all shot in about the same spot and not even close to being usable as a pano, but I wanted to see what Lightroom would do. My initial thought in trying this was… “hey maybe they will line them up side by side as an easy to make triptych-(3 panel shot).”


Wanted to play around with the three walking pictures to see if I could make something better

I selected each shot and then went to Photo>Photomerge>Panorama

I immediately got a rejection in the Panorama panel saying it didn’t work.

Lightroom says... "Nice try buddy!"

Lightroom says… “Nice try buddy!”

Not to be thwarted…

I hit cancel and tried again after I unchecked the Auto Select Projection box and choose Spherical.

This time I got a mash-up of the three images sort of like a triple exposure… which I thought was pretty cool and completely unexpected.

Unexpected mash up which is kind cool.

Unexpected mash up which is kind cool.

So I tried the other two options which resulted in slight variations, but nothing earth shattering.

changed setting to

changed setting to cylindrical and not much difference

Perspective was pretty much the same

Perspective was pretty much the same

Now it didn’t give me the end result I expected and I ended up editing them and then taking each image into Photoshop and merging them.

What I was hoping would happen in Lightroom.

What I was hoping would happen in Lightroom.

However, it did give me a chance to play and experiment with a new process and understand it a little better, as well as giving me a great new idea about mashing various images together just for the fun of it, to see what I get. So remember, Lightroom is so forgiving… have fun and push the boundaries and you may even surprise yourself with what you figure out and end up making. Get in there and play! 😀



  1. Josh 20 May, 2015 at 09:39 Reply

    Hi Pete,
    I too have played around with the new merge to pano feature in Lightroom and while it has worked fine for very simply 2 photo merges, I have found that Photoshop still does a much better job of getting it right the first time and usually produces a cleaner stitch (fewer artifacts) in my side by side comparisons. Further, it allows for fine tuning if something doesn’t turn out quite right along with a better spot healing tool. If I’m stitching 3 or more photos, I’ll still go to Photoshop first.

    Have you done much comparison between Photoshop CC and Lightroom CC when it comes to the Photomerge feature? Any thoughts? When would Lightroom CC be your preferred choice?


    • Pete Collins 20 May, 2015 at 14:21 Reply

      Josh, I agree, but being able to merge raw images and then adjust them globally is a nice feature here in Lightroom. I tend to still do more in Photoshop because that is where I live a lot of my day… but I am always trying to find out if there is a better way, and the RAW capabilities is really nice.

  2. svatostraka 20 May, 2015 at 03:35 Reply

    Nice one Pete!
    Playing around in LR is a great way to learn things, couldn’t agree more. My idea was – is it able to build HDR from one physical image, just creating and adjusting virtual copies? Yes, it is! If you have single image and want to build an HDR version, just create one or two virtual copies (depending on the exposure of your original picture), change their exposure few steps up/down and hit [Shift]+Cmd+H, and you got it.

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