Using the Panorama feature in Lightroom

Sometimes a wide angle lens isn’t wide enough. As a real estate photographer it can be difficult to capture the true size and character of a room. One easy solution is to use Adobe Lightroom’s photo merge feature for panorama pictures.

When you are not able to step backwards to make the scene wider, panoramas may be the answer.  The idea is to take multiple pictures of a scene and ‘stitch’ them together into one. Essentially, you are increasing the field of view that wouldn’t be possible otherwise. My go to lens for real estate photos is my Sigma 18-50mm.  It does a great job for nearly everything, but once in a while there are vaulted ceilings or crammed spaces that keep me from capturing the whole scene.  Thankfully creating panoramas in Lightroom is really easy to do.

I use Lightroom, but there are plenty of other software that can create panoramic pictures. Here are a few free programs that you can use:

  1. Windows Live Photo Gallery
  2. Image Composite Editor
  3. PanoramaPlus
  4. Pos Panorama Pro

*I’ve used Windows Live Photo Gallery, but can’t comment on the others.

 

Using Lightroom to photo merge into a panorama can be completed in just three (or four) steps:

Step One:

The first thing to do is import your photos into Lightroom. Once you have them in your catalog, move to the Develop module.  Then select the multiple photos you want to stitch together.  These are the photos I used:

 

Step Two:

There are two ways to get to the panorama feature, the top navigation menu and using the right-click context menu.

In the top navigation menu, select Photo, Photo Merge, then Panorama.

…OR…

Right-click on the photos, select Photo Merge, then Panorama.

Here’s a screenshot of the using the right-click option:

Lightroom

 

Step Three:

Finally input the Panorama Options.  Make sure the ‘Auto Select Projection’ field is checked, then click Merge.  That’s it!

 

Optional Step:

The goal typically is to make the photo look at natural as possible without any distortion.  This is how my panorama turned out:

Pano Example-3
Notice the curved window frame to the left and stone edge to the right.

I knew I needed to do some additional adjustments to counter the projection in the photo created.  The window frame is curving on the left and the stone wall is also curved on the right, kind of like you would see in a fish-eye lens. Sometimes this can be fixed in the Panorama Options  in Lightroom, but not always. However, it can be corrected in Photoshop using the Transform feature.  I’ll save that for another article.  This is how my photo looked after using Photoshop and a little bit of cropping:

i-qq65bcx-m

 

Share with me your panoramas!  I would love to see what you have created.  Tag your photos with #GetOffAuto on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Post any questions you have below and let me know if I can help.

Thanks and Get Off Auto

-joshua

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