I am fast becoming a fan of the new Photo Merge to Panorama feature in Lightroom 6 (Creative Cloud). I can use the Stacking feature to easily group the photos in a panorama series so that I don’t mix them up with single images. I can then create the new merged panorama as a DNG file ready to be processed like any other RAW file. Once I have the merged DNG I can add it to the top of the image Stack and then collapse the stack. What I then see in Lightroom is the Panorama files and if I want to repeat the merge process I can expand the Stack to see the individual image files.
One aspect of the new feature that I am starting to change my mind about is the Auto Merge and Auto Crop checkbox. The Auto Merge feature automatically selects the blending mode but most often picks the mode that results in a long thin image. Often picking one of the other blending modes will give a file which has more height which tends to be useful.
Similarly the Auto Crop tool will take out the area where the image doesn’t cover the entire canvas. Whilst this can be helpful it can also restrict the size of the image. I have now begun to find that I am turning off the crop to check.
Where there isn’t much cropping required I now prefer to take the image into Photoshop once blended. In Photoshop I then duplicate the layer and use the “Edit | Transform | Warp” menu command to warp the duplicate layer. This allows the image to be stretched over the entire canvas without a reduction in size. The only real downside to this is that the edges of the scene can become a little distorted but with landscape images this is very difficult to detect.
If you also use the new merge feature give this technique a try and let me know what you think.