You can create stacks to group a set of visually similar photos together, making them easy to manage. Stacks are useful for keeping multiple photos of the same subject or a photo and its virtual copies in one place, and they reduce clutter in the Grid view and the Filmstrip.
For example, you may want to create a stack to group multiple photos of a portrait session taken with the same pose, or for photos taken at an event using your camera’s burst mode or auto-bracket feature. When you take photos this way, you end up with many similar variations of the same photo, but you usually want only the best one to appear in the Grid view or the Filmstrip. Stacking the photos lets you easily access them all in one place instead of having them scattered across rows of thumbnails.
When grouping photos in a stack, the photos are stacked according to their sort order in the Grid view, with the active photo at the top of the stack.
A stack is collapsed when stacked photos are grouped under the thumbnail of the top photo in the Grid view or the Filmstrip. A stack is expanded when all photos in a stack are visible in the Grid view or the Filmstrip.
Stacks are specific to the folder or collection in which they were created. The photos in a stack must all be from the same folder or the same collection; you cannot create stacks while in a smart collection or a published collection.
You can only view a stack in a folder when that folder (or other folders) is selected as a source, or when All Photographs is selected. You can only view a stack in a collection when just that one collection is selected as a source. Stacks are not visible when a mix of folders and collections is selected.
Here are a few tips for working with stacks:
Any Develop adjustments, ratings, flags, or color labels applied to a collapsed stack affect only the photo at the top of the stack.
If you select a photo in a stack and add it to a Quick Collection or collection, only the selected photo—not the entire stack—is added.
When you search for photos, the top photo in a stack shows the number of photos in the stack in the upper-left corner.
Video tutorial: Working with Image Stacks
If you select two stacks and choose Photo > Stacking > Group Into Stack, only the top photo from the second stack is moved into the stack you selected first.
Expanding a stack displays all the photos in the stack. When you collapse a stack, all the photos are grouped under the thumbnail of the top photo. The number of photos in the stack is displayed in the upper-left corner of the thumbnail.
To expand a stack, right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac OS) a collapsed stack and choose Stacking > Expand Stack, or click the stacking number displayed in the upper-left corner of the photo. You can also select a collapsed stack and choose Photo > Stacking > Expand Stack.
To expand all stacks, right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac OS) any photo and choose Stacking > Expand All Stacks, or select any photo and choose Photo > Stacking > Expand All Stacks.
To collapse a stack, right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac OS) a photo in the stack and choose Stacking > Collapse Stack, or click the stacking number in the upper-left corner of the photo. You can also select a photo in the stack and choose Photo > Stacking > Collapse Stack.
To collapse all stacks, right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac OS) any photo and choose Stacking > Collapse All Stacks, or select any photo and choose Photo > Stacking > Collapse All Stacks.
Removing photos from a stack keeps them in the Lightroom catalog. Deleting photos from a stack removes them from both the stack and the catalog. Using the Delete Photos command, you also have the option of removing photos from the catalog and deleting them from the hard drive.
Photos within a stack can be grouped into a new separate stack using the Split Stack command. When split, the original stack contains the remaining photos that were grouped into a new stack.
Lightroom can automatically stack photos in a folder or a collection based on their capture time. You specify a duration between capture times to create a new stack. For example, suppose you specify 1 minute for the duration. All contiguous photos with capture times less than 1 minute apart are grouped in one stack. A new stack is created when the next contiguous photo has a capture time that is 1 minute or more later than the previous photo’s capture time. In turn, the new stack groups contiguous photos with capture times less than 1 minute apart from each other, and so forth.
You can specify a duration between capture times of 0 seconds to 1 hour. Specifying shorter durations creates more stacks. Specifying longer durations creates fewer stacks.