While photographing for real estate, we often feel the need to get a 360-degree view. This is especially useful in interior photography, where panoramic views show the complete picture. If you know how to stitch photos in Lightroom Classic, you can create marvelous panoramas using differently framed, overlapping images of the property.
Stitching photos using different overlapping shots is a great way to show the entire view of a property in a single image. The option to shoot a panoramic view is available in digital cameras and even mobile phones these days. But a significantly better quality can be achieved using Lightroom Classic CC.
Lightroom allows you to stitch various photos using the Photo merge option. You can create panoramas and HDR panoramas (for exposure bracketing) using this feature. What’s even better is that the process is extremely straightforward.
The panoramas created by Lightroom are in the RAW/DNG format, allowing you to edit them like you would edit any other image in Lightroom. Moreover, the resolution of the panorama is much higher, so that you can use it for bigger displays.
You need to take care of a few things while capturing images for a panorama.
Selecting the lens profile assists Lightroom in the photo merging process. You can enable the Lens Profile Correction using the following steps.
Sync these settings across all the images in your Lightroom catalog. Doing this will correct any common lens aberrations and vignettes in the photos.
Next, you need to import your captured images into Lightroom.
The images will now be shown as thumbnails in your Lightroom catalog’s grid view. It is now time to stitch them to create a perfect panorama.
In the Photo Merge Preview, you will get to choose the projection of the panorama, plus customization options to crop and fill edges automatically.
The projection of the panorama determines how to handle the images and any distortion. Lightroom does a satisfactory job at choosing the projection for your panorama automatically so that you can check the Auto Select Projection. Otherwise, there are three ways you can choose to project the photos.
The spherical projection is the default projection for panoramas in Lightroom. It shows the images as if they are exhibited on the inner side of a sphere. This projection is perfect for wide 360 degree panoramas and results in an image that doesn’t seem unnaturally stretched.
This projection is ideal when you are looking to keep the vertical lines straight. It projects the images as if they were laid out on the outer side of a cylinder. Cylindrical projection is not recommended for landscape photos.
The perspective projection uses the middle image perspective to lay out the panorama. Since it can sometimes stretch the photos towards the edges, you need to be careful while choosing it for images with short focal lengths.
We advise you to check the Auto Crop option so that any white spaces created while forming the panorama are automatically removed. It will save your time that you would put in to crop the stitched photo manually.
The Boundary Warp slider helps to give finishing touches to the panorama’s boundary. You can adjust the slider between 1-100 to check which level works best for the particular panorama that you are creating.
If you choose to Fill Edges, Lightroom will automatically fill in the uneven edges in the panorama.
After choosing the above options, it’s now time to click on Merge. Lightroom will take some time to create your panorama. Once it is created, you can see it in your catalog besides the source photos. You can now go on to edit and export the stitched panorama as you normally do.
Besides stitching photos to create panoramas, Lightroom Classic CC also gives an option to generate HDR for exposure bracketing.
Remember that the images you select for HDR must have the Exposure metadata in them. All of them must have different exposure values.
RAW files produce the ideal result in panoramas as they provide complete information to Lightroom about the lens profile. The panorama created with RAW images is much more detailed, plus Lightroom offers a lot more editing versatility with it. Besides RAW, Lightroom can stitch photos in JPEG, PNG, DNG, TIFF, and PSD formats.
The Photo Merge option is available in Lightroom Classic CC’s version 6 and above. Hence, it is advisable to update your software to the latest version in order to use this feature.
If you are getting an “unable to merge photos” notification, it means that the images you have selected don’t have overlapping details or have mismatched perspectives. Another issue may be that your images differ in sizes or focal lengths.
You can edit panoramas in Lightroom. Like any other process in Lightroom, Photo Merge is also a non-destructive process. It saves the panorama in RAW or DNG format, giving you complete access to edit it in the Develop module. Avoid editing individual images before you stitch them to avoid messing up the exposure in the final result.
Lightroom Classic CC provides a user-friendly way to do so with its intuitive Photo Merge option when it comes to stitching photos. All you need is a basic understanding of the image requirements for merging them via the software. We hope that the above tutorial will be helpful for your to create exceptional panoramas with your real estate photos.