13 Replies Latest reply on Apr 23, 2016 8:39 PM by whsprague

    Lightroom Panorama question

    dj_paige Level 10

      I have never done a Panorama photo before, however, I have a question, more about camera technique than about Lightroom itself.


      Let's say I'm standing in front of a very wide building, and I can see I'm going to need three shots left to right to capture the entire building (I understand that the shots ought to overlap by about 30%)


      So which of these is the proper camera technique?

      1. Standing still in front of the middle portion of the building, take three pictures left to right of the building
      2. Take the first picture standing in front of the left part of the building; then walk to the center of the building for the second picture; then walk to the right side of the building and take the third picture
        • 1. Re: Lightroom Panorama question
          whsprague Adobe Community Professional

          I've only used the standing in one spot method and been shooting distant landscapes.  In either method you are creating an image that is beyond what the eye sees when you are holding your head still.  That means there will be "distortion" of reality.   In processing, you can choose distortion corrections that please your mind's eye. 


          That said, I'm going to have to try your second method on the condo building I live in.  It should be interesting!

          • 2. Re: Lightroom Panorama question
            dj_paige Level 10

            Let me know how it turns out, thanks

            • 3. Re: Lightroom Panorama question
              druss PI Level 1

              Only your number one choice will work. When you change locations, LR or Photoshop will find too many things that are different to make a decent panorama. Keep the camera on a tripod when you take the pictures for the pano. Strange as it may seem, the pano will give you more information if it is shot vertically for most horizontal pictures.

              • 4. Re: Lightroom Panorama question
                JoeKostoss Adobe Community Professional

                I believe no. 1 is the best way.  By moving to different locations, the perspective of how the near field. middle field and far field line up to each other changes so much that LR will be unable to line them up or will perform a major distortion to the point that the image will not be acceptable. 


                Suppose that there was a large mountain far behind the building; standing to the left for the first shot, the peak of that mountain may appear to be behind the left part of the building.  Moving to the center for the second shot, that same mountain now appears behind the center of the building.  Moving to the right, that same mountain is now behind the right side of the building.  Lightroom will not be able to stitch those 3 images because as far as LR is concerned, that mountain has moved. 


                The best way is to use a tripod to keep the camera (sensor) in the same spot.  Hand holding will create a similar effect as moving, but to a lesser degree, if you pivot about your own body axis rather than pivot the camera about its own (sensor) axis.  I believe that this may be the reason some people post about LR not being able to create a pano with their shots, thinking that it is a bug in LR, when in fact, their images have a perspective problem, (The mountain has moved.) 


                The truly correct method is to use a gimbal on your tripod such that the camera pivots about the vertical axis of the sensor.

                1 person found this helpful
                • 5. Re: Lightroom Panorama question
                  WobertC Adobe Community Professional

                  I do believe that Photoshop has a panorama option that can use the images from different standing positions (eg. for a long building), but the problem would still exist if more of the landscape is visible.


                  To also put a finer point on holding the camera- It should rotate about the 'Nodal Point' to prevent mis-alignment of near and distant objects in the image.

                  The Nodal point is somewhere between the lens center and the sensor. It varies for lenses. Do a Goggle search for "Nodal Point Panorama" (and images)


                  All the technical stuff aside- I often just stand and click 3 or 4 shots (camera vertical) twisting at the waist, keeping the horizon as level as possible and very near center frame. Always happy with my landscapes! Manual exposure , no polarizer filter.


                  2 people found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: Lightroom Panorama question
                    lukebrincat Level 1

                    I love Panoramas


                    When shooting panoramas always Remember to:


                    Shoot Vertically, yes you will take more pictures, but you will get better resolution and a better room for crop space after all stitching is done!


                    Don't use Wide angle lenses, I tend to steer away from wide angle as they tend to distort, I use the 35mm but a 50mm or a 24-70mm would be much better I think


                    Good enough Speed, depending of what you want to create a fast shutter speed would be ideal to remove or minimalise any camera shake, unless you have a tripod and preferably a cable release.


                    Good depth of focus, shooting at F11 or higher is recommended to get good focus and tack sharp images. which is essential for stiching, always depends what you want to create.


                    Hope I helped




                    • 7. Re: Lightroom Panorama question
                      Geoff the kiwi Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      Two panoramas done today with Lightroom.... both shot with wide angle 12mm (18mm) and hand held....




                      And just for fun!!


                      Here's another shot at 12mm


                      1 person found this helpful
                      • 8. Re: Lightroom Panorama question
                        dj_paige Level 10

                        Thanks to everyone for the very helpful information!

                        • 9. Re: Lightroom Panorama question
                          trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          dj_paige wrote:


                          1. the second picture; then walk to the right side of the building and take the third picture

                          This is called a linear panorama, which works best for 2D subjects such as a mural painted on a long wall or a very long building. I've never tried it using LR's Photo Merge to Panorama, but it should work using PS's Photomerge.


                          » linear streetline panorama vs. classic 360° panorama

                          • 10. Re: Lightroom Panorama question
                            johnrellis Most Valuable Participant

                            My favorite linear panorama is of a 300' redwood: National Geographic Magazine - NGM.com . See here for how the photographer took it: Multi-camera rig makes trees say cheese | Hackaday

                            • 11. Re: Lightroom Panorama question
                              trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                              The National Geographic Channel featured a documentary of this linear panorama shoot some time ago. Simply amazing to say the least!


                              National Geographic Live! - Super Trees: Climbing a Giant Sequoia - YouTube

                              • 12. Re: Lightroom Panorama question
                                lukebrincat Level 1

                                NIce! good job

                                • 13. Re: Lightroom Panorama question
                                  whsprague Adobe Community Professional

                                  It is probably pretty dumb to post an example after a look at National Geographic work.  But, Lightroom can combine HDR and Panorama processing!  My camera is pretty far down the food chain compared to their gear! 


                                  I was in a very old, dark landmark church with some natural window light in Copenhagen last year.   I set my camera to bracket five raw exposures at 0, +1, -1, +2 and -2.  I did that 6 times rotating at my hips for a total of 30 exposures.  There was not time or room for a tripod.  Total time for the shooting was about 15 seconds.


                                  Lightroom was able to blend each set of bracketed shots into 6 single "HDR" files.  Then I asked Lightroom to join those six into a single RAW Panorama.   The shot had far to many distracting tourists and the HDR process blurred the ones that moved.  As a beginner with Photoshop I tried to clone stamp all but two tourists out of the picture.  Don't look too close!  You may still see parts of them!Church.jpg