Large Group Photograph using Lightroom Photo Merge

Written by: Glyn Dewis

Published: March 3, 2020

Category: Photography | Tutorial | Videos

Earlier this year I was invited to the Taxi Charity for Military Veterans Lunch for Veterans and Supporters held at the prestigious RAF Club in Mayfair, London; a truly wonderful afternoon spent with the very best of people.

Whilst there, thanks to the continued support of the Charity’s Dick Goodwin, I was able to take portraits of Veterans for my 39-45 Portraits Project and to give to each of the Veterans and their families. I’ll add a post soon showing the set up video and some of the results.

Towards the end of the afternoon it was suggested that we get a group photo of all 19 Veterans present however the only problem was that I didn’t have a wide enough lens with me having only brought along a couple of prime lenses for portraits; my 85mm f/1.4 and 55mm f/1.8.

The Solution?
Take a series of pictures of the group and stitch it together in Lightroom / Photoshop afterwards.

Here’s a short video showing some of the Behind the Scenes photographing the group…

The key things to ensure for this to work are:

  1. Using a tripod
  2. Asking everyone to be as still as they possibly can
  3. Taking a series of photographs (I took 5) and overlapping each
  4. Taking the photographs as quickly as possible 🙂

Here’s the series of images that I took:

Once home and all the images from the today safely backed up I then dived into Lightroom to begin stitching the group photographs together; a process that ended up being incredibly easy…

Step 1:
Select each of the group photographs (Figure 1)

Figure 1

Step 2:
Go to Photo > Photo Merge > Panorama (Figure 2)

Figure 2

Step 3:
In the panorama properties below this shows what the group photograph would look like with the default settings (Sperical and Auto Settings); notice the missing sections around the outside of the photograph but also how the ‘Auto Settings’ has enhanced the detail / shadows (Figure 3)

Figure 3

Step 4:
The screen grab below shows how effective putting a tick in the ‘Fill Edges’ checkbox can be (Figure 4)

Figure 4

Step 5:
And here’s what the stitched photographs look like after clicking ‘Merge’ (Figure 5)

Figure 5

Once done I then got to work on the picture in Photoshop mainly cropping out some areas, re-building others and ensuring there were no repeating patterns from the merging. Then having done that I could then add my finishing touches:

As always if you have any questions / comments, please feel free to make use of the comments section below.

Hope you found that useful
Catch you next time

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  1. Craig Sperring

    Superb as always Glyn.
    Did you use LUTS on the final stitched image?

    • Glyn Dewis

      Craig…Oh Yes 🙂

  2. Nick Bayliss

    Excellent work Glyn. I’m sure the veterans were pleased with your final image.

    • Glyn Dewis

      Cheers Nick

      The picture was recently framed and is being presented to a gentleman who has done so much for Veterans over the years but is now having to retire.
      That I was able to do this, I’ll never forget.



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