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Rotate Left To Stitch A Bottom To Top Panorama In Lightroom

In early June, I met up with my buddy Michael for some night time galaxy shots. There was a half moon, which lit the sand dunes quite nicely. I took several panorama sequences, but while reviewing the frames on location, the shifts in the position of the milky way were noticeable.

So, I also grabbed some "bottom to top" sequences, typically just two frames. One capture with the camera pointed toward the ground and another toward the sky. I figured I could do some masking and layering work to combine the two for a larger photo.

Once I got them into Lightroom, I figured I may as well try the panorama stitching. I selected the two photos and did Photo > Photo Merge > Panorama. The result was not good.

Two photos, one of the foreground, one of the background

First attempt to merge a bottom to top panorama. Ouch.

Look at that horizon! Super-warped. That is not going to work. And if you are curious, the Cylindrical projection wasn't any better. A moment or two I had an "ah ha!" moment.

Rotate the frames counterclockwise.

Maybe I'd read it somewhere and the latent memory jumped forward. Or maybe I realized I usually stitch portrait orientation photos together. Either way, I rotated both photos counter clockwise with Photo > Rotate Left and then tried the stitch again.

Both photos rotated left.

Panoramic stitch of the rotated photos.

Soooo much better. I proceeded with the merge. Once the merge was finished, I rotated the merged pano clockwise with Photo > Rotate Right to turn it back upright.

I can work with that. And if I get further into this type of pano work, I might have to invest in a ball head or accessory for more precise tilting motion.

Rotate the merged panorama to the right

The merged and processed panorama