Stacks are images grouped together inside your Adobe Lightroom catalogue. You can choose to Auto-Stack images by Capture Time to better help you group sequenced HDR images together.
Lightroom uses the capture time of an image to group them together. Generally, individual photographs aren’t taken quick enough together to be Auto-Stacked. This means that Lightroom should potentially only stack the images that were taken as an HDR set, all together.
Auto-Stack is a feature in Lightroom that can really help speed up your stacking process, especially when you’re dealing with the large number of files that shooting HDR requires.
Auto-Stack Images in Lightroom for Easier HDR Processing
First, select the photos that you’d like to Auto-Stack. You can select all the images inside a specific collection, even if they aren’t going to be merged to an HDR image. Next, navigate to the Photo menu and select Stacking then click Auto-Stack by Capture Time option found at the bottom of the list. A new window will now pop up on your screen. Here you can choose your interval. Lightroom needs to know how much time you want to allow between images. You can set it from milliseconds seconds between photos, to up to an hour.
All this really depends on what time of day you were shooting your HDR images. During the day, your shutter duration is quicker and the time between images will be quicker. But if you’re shooting at night, for example, you’d want to set the interval to a lot longer to make up for longer shutter durations. When you have the desired time input into the window just click Stack.
Once you have done this and have all the images stacked, you can see how many photos are in each stack by the indicated numbers on the top left of the image thumbnail. This only appears if you have Extended Previews turned on. Alternatively, though you can also see how many images are in a stack just by hovering over the images.
Collapse all stacks in Adobe Lightroom
To collapse all the stacks at once, Right-Click on your mouse and choose Stacking, then Collapse all Stacks. You can also expand a stack by pressing Right-Click and choosing Stacking then clicking Expand Stack.
It should be noted that auto-stacking isn’t always perfect. Lightroom can get confused. You don’t want Burst photos to be auto-stacked for example, but based on the capture time, they will be.
It’s worth taking the time and checking each auto-stacked group and if needed you can select them, Right-Click the mouse and choose Stacking then Unstack. This will remove the group of stacked images.