Senja, Norway

How to Create Panorama using Adobe Lightroom

Until a few years ago, creating panorama by shooting and stitching together different images was a tedious process that involved cumbersome and expensive equipment and complex software procedures.

Nowadays, thanks to the improvements of technology, it’s relatively easy to create panoramas composed of dozens of images with a resolution equivalent to that of a single image measuring tens, if not hundreds of megapixels.

In the video below, I demonstrate the technique I typically use to shoot and create a panorama. My equipment consists of only a tripod with a rotating head and an L-bracket (although I will gladly shoot it hand-held, if the light is good). The only software I use is Adobe Lightroom CC.

The following is the workflow I generally use (although I recommend that you watch the video to absorb all of the details):

  • Set the camera to manual mode and manual focus, exposing for the brightest part in the scene.
  • Turn the camera to portrait orientation to maximize vertical resolution.
  • Rotate from left to right, using the grid in the viewfinder to make sure the horizon is in the center and each shot overlaps the previous one by at least 30%.
  • In Lightroom, merge the photos into a panorama before doing any processing.
  • Apply any tonal correction to the merged panorama with no compromise to quality since the image Lightroom creates is a RAW (DNG) file.

The images below are some of the panoramas I created using this technique. Click each one to enlarge it.

  • Senja, Norway

    Senja, Norway

  • Granada, Spain

    Granada, Spain

  • Rome, Italy

    Rome, Italy

  • Lucca, Italy

    Lucca, Italy

  • Ios, Greece

    Ios, Greece

  • Cologne, Germany

    Cologne, Germany

About Author Ugo Cei

Ugo Cei is a fine-art travel and landscape photographer from Italy. He believes this is really an amazing planet that we live on and every place and every culture possesses beauty that deserves to be shown, so he tries to catch every available opportunity to travel and to create new images of foreign cities, their inhabitants and of natural landscapes.

He is passionate about sharing his knowledge and his work has been published on magazines and exhibited in art galleries worldwide. He is also the host of the popular travel photography podcast, The Traveling Image Makers.

  • Shouldn’t you at least apply CA and lens correction before stitching? At least that’s what I do. I don’t think these will work on a stitched image, but they should be applied to every image.

    • You might be right, I will have to verify. The thing is, I shoot on Fujifilm X cameras and Lightroom automatically applies the built-in lens correction profile to every RAW picture on import.

      • Yves

        Yes, Lr applies lens profiles for some cameras automatically, but never CA it seems.