Join Richard Harrington for an in-depth discussion in this video Merging raw images, part of Lightroom: Creating Panoramas.
- Okay, let's merge a couple of files together. To start, I'm going to use some of the preprocessed HDR DNGs. These are raw files that take on the dynamic range of all of the source images. Later in the lesson, we'll explore creating new HDR files. For now, just use the one's I've provided. Let's go here and click on HDR and you see the individual file. If we look at the develop module here, take a look at what happens with the basic slider. As I drag the exposure, you see it has huge range.
There's the very underexposed image and the very overexposed image. Even as we brighten that up, you see with five stops there that there's details in the shadows. It's one of the main benefits of HDR is the huge range within the image. Let's reset that and now with all of the images selected, I'll just choose reset so they go back to the default value. Let's use a keyboard shortcut. To create the merge, I'll press "ctrl + m." This'll hand them off to the panorama merge preview and start to build the file.
I'll choose autoselect to let it guess on the best merge method. There we go, and you see it's a pretty quick process. Looks good, and for now, I'll click merge. You see it creates the new file. While that's rolling, let's go on and fix a few more things. Let's select this collection here and this is a very fun panoramic photo. I talked about this one earlier when I said that I just sort of shot the scene and panned around it, and I want to stitch this all together.
There is some overlap here though, with moving people and blowing trees, so we'll process the ghosts later. Let's select all of those images and I can choose "ctrl + m" to invoke the merge. Now, while this is processing, you'll notice that it essentially pauses until the previous task is finished. We'll talk about a way to bypass this whole dialogue later, when we invoke some automation strategies, but for now, let's just go one at a time so we can see the results as we create these interim merges.
Let's create this by clicking merge and we'll do the last one here where this raw collection, you'll see it's targeted, although for now, we could simply remove that as the targeted collection. Select everything, right click, and choose "photomerge + panorama," or again, the shortcut is "ctrl + m." Create the quick merge there and for now, we're just sticking with the auto method, allowing Lightroom to analyze the files and determine the best projection method.
We'll explore the three methods in depth a little bit later. That last one's just about finished up. We can click "merge" to create the new file. Alright, the merges are processing and remember, you can click up here to see the progress as they go through. That last one, looks like it had a little bit of repetition, so if needed, we can kick that over to Photoshop where it can manually adjust it or we could see if the final merge can't resolve the issues.
Sometimes the preview image shows issues that get taken care of in the final merge. Looks like we have some extra repetition in there, so Lightroom got a bit confused on the stitch, but it is clean. If needed, we can always select these and manually hand this off to Photoshop as well. Let's choose "edit in + merge panorama in Photoshop" and we'll let that also process, although remember, it will no longer be a raw file.
We'll invoke the merge and see if Photoshop does any better. Let's go ahead and crop this image. We can close that file. We'll simply flatten it. Close and save, and it will store the file and send it back to Lightroom.
Alright, there's an interesting error there comparing the two methods, the Photoshop merge and the Lightroom merge, which picked up some extra artifacts. Now, it's interesting that this particular pattern threw Lightroom for a loop but not Photoshop, but that's ok. This is the first iteration of the tool and sometimes with really busy patterns like this where the overlap isn't as precise or isn't as easy for the computer to distinguish, you might see errors like this popup. This is why you've got both methods and we'll talk a little bit more later about handing off to Creative Cloud.
Now that we've got the merges done though, let's explore working with the raw files.
- Shooting strategies for panoramas
- Organizing photos in Lightroom
- Starting Panoramic Photomerge
- Merging raw files
- Changing your projection method
- Automating the panorama process
- Combining Lightroom and Photoshop
- Creating an HDR panorama