While out on your adventures, you will come across impressive landscapes, that you simply cannot capture the full composition that you want in one shot.
This is where the Lightroom panoramic feature comes in nicely.
I will now cover this feature, and how I had created some of my favorite photos this way.
NOTE: Its important to use a tripod while shooting a panoramic, to keep your images consistent.
This example was from an awesome backpacking adventure in the South Cascades. The sunrise was great at our campsite, but I also wanted to capture all 3 volcanic peaks in the distance, in my final photo. I knew that I needed to take mutltiple exposures to capture the full composition that I wanted.
This is how I will capture 4 exposures of the scene, and when I get home, I will then use Lightroom to blend them together as a panoramic.
I took my first exposure of the sunrise, using my aperture technique to capture the rays that were coming out from the rising sun (keep in mind, these photos are NOT the final edit!).
I then swiveled my camera on the tripod, to capture the 2nd exposure, as you can see above.
Please note, you must be overlapping at least 1/3 of the previous shot. This process is necessary, for Lightroom to able to properly line up and “stitch” these photos together to make the final panoramic photo.
I also use my digital leveler on my LCD screen, between each shot, to make sure my camera is staying level throughout all of the exposures.
Here is my 3rd photo for this composition:
I could have stopped shooting here, since I had captured all 3 peaks, but I didn’t want Mt. St. Helens to be this close to the edge of the composition. Knowing that it was important to overlap the previous compositions, as mentioned, I decided I will take a 4th photo to capture more of the composition near this volcano.
And here is the 4th and last photo. These will be the 4 photos I will use to eventually stitch together a seamless composition in Lightroom.
Back at my computer, once all my photos are imported into Lightroom, I will do my basic edits first, to make sure all the exposures are matched in tone to my usual preference.
The next step, as shown below, is to select all 4 photos that I want to stitch together.
Also, if you use the Lens Corrections feature, as show below, it is important to make sure the corrections are processed on all photos BEFORE stitching, to make sure your final panoramic is consistent throughout.
After the 4 photos are selected, right clicking will bring up this menu, shown below, which will allow you to select Panorama, to begin the process.
A preview will now come up, with various settings you can manage prior to merging.
Spherical, Cylindrical, and Perspective are 3 different methods of projecting them into a panorama. There is no right or wrong answer….just click through each one, and choose the one you like the best.
Boundary Warp will actually warp the photo, to give you more or less upper and lower “boundaries” of the photo. I recommend experimenting with this slider also, since the preview will display your changes. I try to keep this at 0, but you should set it at what looks the best to you.
Once you hit Merge, Lightroom will do the work and you will get a stitched photo to do your final edits with.
Here is the stitched shot, after final editing. I still captured the sunrays as I saw them, but was also able to capture the volcanoes I wanted, to show the scale of the amazing viewpoint we had at our campsite.
I hope this tutorial was helpful, please let me know in the comments!