How-To's Lightroom Editing Series

How to create a stunning panorama with Lightroom

Your DSLR is very useful when you want to capture the scene before your eyes. But what if one picture isn’t quite enough? How can you stitch multiples pictures together to create a big panorama? I will show you just that in this tutorial.

Let’s begin!


To make a panorama, you need pictures (obviously). You should have your pictures overlapping a little bit; Lightroom will have an easier time putting the images together.

Import them into Lightroom.

Screen Shot 2015-08-22 at 1.06.46 PM


Choose one of them, and edit it like you would normally, but don’t crop it or auto-level it. I went for an HDR look for this one. You can check out the Single Picture HDR look article here.Screen Shot 2015-08-22 at 1.07.04 PM


Once you’re done, select all the other ones, click Sync, Check All, and Synchronize.Screen Shot 2015-08-22 at 1.07.39 PM


Right click on the pictures, Photo Merge, Panorama. Screen Shot 2015-08-22 at 1.33.16 PM

Check the Auto Select Projection and the Auto Crop boxes, then click Merge. This will take a few minutes depending on how many pictures you have, their size, and the processing power of you computer (or toaster). Screen Shot 2015-08-22 at 1.34.12 PM

Screen Shot 2015-08-22 at 1.39.57 PM


Now you can crop the panorama, add some gradient filter and vignetting, etc. As you can see, the end result is a 13144 by 3926pixels pictures (almost 52 megapixels)!Screen Shot 2015-08-22 at 1.40.56 PM


Congratulations! You’ve created your panorama in Lightroom!
There is a more advanced way to make panoramas using Lightroom and Photoshop; I will show you how in a future tutorial.

In the mean time, get out there and shoot!


Lightroom Editing Series Other Photography Photography Tips and Tricks

How to do a Single Picture HDR look in Adobe Lightroom

How to do a Single Picture HDR look in Adobe Lightroom

You transfer your pictures from your camera onto your computer. You take a look at them and some of them just don’t look the way you thought they would — underexposed, a little out of focus, dull… Fortunately, Lightroom is here for you.

Adobe Lightroom is a great tool to make, or rather fake, the HDR look using only one picture. Not only is it extremely simple to do, but it only requires fiddling with the basic sliders.

Let’s get started!

(I am assuming that you already know how to import pictures into Lightroom and get into the Develop module. See you there! A complete guide for Lightroom for beginners is coming soon… patience.)

First of all, I like to start with the Highlights and the Shadows. The sliders can be found under the Basic tab. For the HDR look, I bring down the Highlights slider to -100 and set the Shadows slider to +100. This will bring back details in the picture (and dynamic range). It might look washed out for now, but don’t worry, we will take care of that in just a second!

*Do not abuse this HDR technique. It may be a quick fix but nothing remedies crappy technique. Sincerely. *

Lightroom Editing Series Photography Street Photography Urban Photography

How to Make a Bad Picture Look Good in Adobe Lightroom

Final Image

Images © Jack (Wei Xi) Luo | Photograph IO. All rights reserved.

For more Lightroom editing workflows like this one, click here. Disclaimer/warming : you can’t actually turn a 100% crappy shot into an 100% amazing one. While Lightroom and digital darkroom these days can overcome most technical shortcomings with relative ease; talk about noise reduction, tonal editing to modify the sensor feel, or even shake reduction as of Photoshop CC, NOTHING will fix bad composition and plain simple laziness. Sorry. 

What happens when you take a bad (ok, ordinary) point and shoot picture and try to make it into something good?

In this fourth of the Lightroom Editing Series, we’ll turn an bad (ordinary?) picture of a Chinese highway (it’s in Shenyang if I recall correctly) taken using a 2008 compact, the Sony DSC-H50, into a great looking shot using modern Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. And it’s a video this time 🙂

Lightroom Editing Series Photography

How to Edit a Cinematic Scene in Lightroom


Images © Wei Xi Luo | Photograph IO. All rights reserved.

For more Lightroom editing workflows like this one, click here. View the different steps distraction-free using the lightbox by clicking on the images. 

Did it ever happen to you that you took a shot in camera but visualized something totally different with your eye? Have you ever wondered how to turn a seemingly ‘ordinary’ image into a cinematic scene?

In this third article of the Lightroom Editing Series, we’ll turn a mundane scene of a New York yellow taxi into a cinematic-style piece of art. The picture itself was shot using a Fuji X-Pro1, 35mm f/1.4 lens at 1/125 sec @ f/1.4, ISO 400.

Lightroom Editing Series Other Photography

Turn ON This Simple Lightroom Setting and Avoid Headache Later

Montreal Clock Tower
SOOC Shot of Montreal’s clock tower.

Don’t get me wrong. Lightroom is a great program overall.

It combines photo editing and photo management into a single tool. It does non-destructive editing with RAW and Jpeg files, which means that the original file will always remain intact no matter the changes done to the final image. All of your develop edits are stored in Lightroom’s built-in database (aka catalog), just like every other tool you used, such as flags, collections, etc. But there is one problem with this type of centralized data storage. Your Lightroom catalog, just like any other database, will eventually fail.

Lightroom Editing Series

How to Edit a Double Exposure Scene in Lightroom

Montreal Metro Multiple Exposure
The before/after result of this lightroom editing guide.

Images © Wei Xi Luo | Photograph IO. All rights reserved.

For more Lightroom editing workflows like this one, click here. View the different steps distraction-free using the lightbox by clicking on the images. 

In this second article on Lightroom editing, we’ll give a film look (without VSCO or any other presets) to a double exposure (an article on how to take multiple exposures is coming very soon) shot of people waiting in the Montreal Metro, Lionel-Groulx station textured with the picture of a wall. The first exposure of this image, the walls in the background, was shot at 1/30 sec @ f/4, ISO 800 while the second exposure, the people waiting on a bench, was shot at 1/15 sec @ f/4, ISO 800m both using a Fuji X-Pro1 with 18mm f/2 lens.

1) Distortion correction (or why the 18mm f/2 is soft in the corners)

Montreal Metro Double Exposure
Before distortion correction
Montreal Metro Double Exposure
After distortion correction

Although the Fuji X-Pro1 applies automatic distortion correction to its regular RAW files, multiple exposure RAW files produced by this camera doesn’t include that correction for whatever reason. This is something to keep in mind especially if you shoot with an *extremely* high distortion lens such as the 18mm f/2 XF R lens. No, I am not saying that this lens is bad, in fact, I would expect such a compact lens with fast aperture to have a high amount of distortion. But many people on the web wonder why this lens’ sharpness isn’t that good in corners, and that is because Fuji does automatically correct distortion to make it invisible, thus rendering corners soft.

But what happens when no distortion correction is applied? Well … an extremely pronounced barrel effect. Although I don’t know the exact distortion values to correct this lens, dialling + 20 (!!!) and constraining it to crop seemed to do the job. 

Lightroom Editing Series

How to Edit Blown Highlights in Lightroom

New York Foggy Street
A foggy scene of a street in New York City. (Original photo)

Images © Wei Xi Luo | Photograph IO. All rights reserved.

For more Lightroom editing workflows like this one, click here. View the different steps distraction-free using the  lightbox by clicking on the images.

One of the many requests we have received over here at Photograph IO is in our editor’s editing workflow. As a result, we’ve decided to start a weekly series on Lightroom editing from start to finish. Although the post and screenshot format will be currently used, we might consider switching to Youtube/Vimeo videos if you readers prefer. Let us know in the comments! For the first image to edit, we will be starting with a relatively easy picture to process, a foggy street scene in New York City. I took this picture at 1/200 sec @ f/1.4, ISO 200 using a Fujifilm X-Pro1 with a 35mm f/1.4 lens, and intend to convert into a high-contrast black and white photo.

1) Cropping and straightening

The original photo was already straightened well-enough : there was no need to adjust, and the composition fitted nicely in the golden overlay in Lightroom 5.5, so no adjustments here.

2) White balance

Since I intend to convert this color shot into B&W as the original SOOC jpeg was, I decided to skip this part altogether since the in-camera WB was good enough for my needs and white balance for B&W doesn’t usually do much of a difference. No adjustments here either.