Quick Tip: Using Lightroom to Stitch a Panorama and Export in RAW


In this clip from CreativeLive’s free Lightroom CC Crash Course, professional photographers, Matt Kloskowski and Jared Platt describe in detail the incredible capabilities of the new Adobe software upgrade.

Previously, to create a panorama from multiple photographs required exporting each individually edited file, then stitching together in a secondary software such as Photoshop or Autopano Giga (which is both expensive and cumbersome).

The technique required that you export the image files (jpeg or tiff), then re-imported back into Lightroom to edit the final image. While this process worked, it lost the ability to edit the final image file as a RAW image, thereby losing a large portion of the tonal and exposure range that you get with RAW.

Now, merging and editing can be done entirely within one platform, Lightroom. And the final image remains in RAW format. This dramatically increases the editing capabilities of the photographer. This is truly a fantastic upgrade that doesn’t seem to get the attention it deserves. In this video, Jared Platt is clearly very excited about this.

The above video provides step-by-step guide for how to accomplish this; here are some of the main points to consider when creating your own panorama:


  • Taking the photo: using a tripod, make sure to overlap by 20-30% for each photo (gives the software something to work with).
  • In Lightroom: Matt recommended to not do any developing ahead of time.
  • Top menu: Photo → Photo Merge → Panorama
  • Lightroom will create a preview. In terms of settings, it is recommended to select “auto select projection,” and “Spherical.”
    • You can select “auto crop,” or crop later on your own; it is entirely up to you.
    • Unless you are using the perfect panorama shifting ball-head, the framing will not be perfect, and you will lose some space on either end that needs to be cropped out.

Bonus tip: In the video, Matt will guide you through an additional step you can take in Photoshop to auto-fill those empty spaces, and keep your image at its original intended size.


Justin Katz works as a Marketing Manager at CreativeLive, and as an avid outdoor and landscape photographer at his website.

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.