Photo Stacking in Lightroom

In Lightroom Tutorials by Stefano Caioni Leave a Comment

Are you looking to learn about photo stacking in Lightroom?

Stacking refers to organizing similar looking photographs together in Adobe Lightroom. It is one of the most popular features in Lightroom for photographers. This guide will tell you how and why you must use photo stacking in Lightroom.

Related: Best Lightroom Tips to Improve Your Photos

Why Stack Photos in Lightroom

There are a few reasons why stacking is so useful. Here’s why you should be stacking your photos.

Easy Management: The main reason for using the stacking feature in Lightroom is to simplify the management of photographs. As a photographer, you will take maybe dozens or even hundreds of photographs of the same subject and event. By using stacks, you clearly separate out and arrange your photographs in neat groups.

Quick Processing: Since all similar images are arranged together, you can quickly sift through them and choose the best one. This can save an enormous amount of time, especially when you are dealing with hundreds of photographs, and have to choose only the best 20 or 30 out of them.

How to do Photo Stacking in Lightroom

Photo stacking is quite simple in Lightroom.

First up, think about how you can stack your images. It could be based on the type of camera or lens used, a particular setting, or related to a specific subject. Regardless, find something that makes it easy for you to sort and process the images.

Next, go to the Develop module. Here, you must add the images from your shoot. Towards the bottom of the screen, you will see thumbnails of all the photos that were added. Select the images that you want to put in a stack. You can use the Ctrl key to select multiple photos, individually, or the Shift key to select a sequence of photos. Once the images are selected, right click on any of the images. Then choose ‘Stacking’ and ‘Group Into Stack’.

Adding Photos

Adding a new iamge to a stack can be done in two ways.

The first method is to directly drag the image and drop it into the stack.

For the second method, choose the stack and also the photos that you want to add to that stack. Then select Photos, Stacking and Group Into Stack to add these photos.

Rearrange Photos in a Stack

Rearranging photos is something you may want to do often. You can select a specific photo in an expanded stack in the Filmstrip or Grid view.

To move the photo to the top of the stack, choose ‘Photo’. Then select ‘Stacking’ and choose ‘Move To Top of Stack’.

It is also possible to move a photo up by one position in the stack. Choose the photo and select the ‘Photo’ option. Then choose ‘Stacking’ and ‘Move Up In Stack’. Similarly, if you want to move it down by one position, choose ‘Move Down in Stack’ instead.

Unstack Photos

Unstacking photos is incredibly simple as well. Choose the thumbnail of the appropriate stack. Choose the ‘Photo’ option. A dropdown will appear. Choose ‘Stacking’, and then select ‘Unstack’. Your images will now be free once more!

If you are looking to remove a photo from the stack, it will still be kept in the Develop module of Lightroom. To remove a photo, select it from the stack and choose ‘Photo’. then under ‘Stacking’, click on ‘Remove From Stack’. If you click on ‘Delete Photos’ instead, the photo will get deleted from Lightroom altogether.

Quick Tips

  • You can automatically stack photos based on capture time. Choose Photo, then Stacking, and finally Auto-Stack by Capture Time. A dialog box will open, where you can specify the time between capture times to create a new stack. As you adjust the time, you will see how many stacks will be created. Adjust accordingly.
  • You can right-click, and select Collapse Stacks to view all the stacks that you have created. Looking at the various stacks available, you can unstack and restack the photos as desired.
  • Another incredibly useful feature is splitting stacks. Just choose the photo from which you would like to split the tack. Then select Stacking and select Split Stack.

Final Notes

With this newfound knowledge on stacking, your post-processing and post-shoot tasks are bound to drastically reduce!

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