There are a few tasks that need to be taken care of before you go off editing your photos in Adobe Lightroom and Camera Raw. I know how much fun it is to dig right into the Basic panel to get going, but honestly, I think it’s more important to find out if your image is actually usable first. You know, before you spend all that time on the editing.
Let’s say you’ve taken a few architectural photographs and the time has come to edit them in one of the applications I just mentioned above. The photos were unknowingly taken at weird angles, and because of that, they may not even be able to be corrected. There’s a lot you can do in Lightroom to fix the distortion that’s created by both angle and lens, but sometimes, that distortion is just too much. This post isn’t about what to do if a photo is no good though. I actually want to write about two tools you can use to correct lens distortion as well and faulty angles in scenes. It’s after this editing that you’d make the choice as to whether or not the image is a keeper.
For this post, I’ll be using this photo. I’ll first demonstrate how to go about correcting any lens distortion and then I’ll use the Upright tool to straighten up the buildings. As you can see, they’re on some strange angles.
Okay, I’ve got Adobe Lightroom opened up and I’ve already clicked on the Develop tab. I’ve located the image from all of those that I’ve imported and I’m ready to get to work. In the right column, I’ll find and click on the Lens Corrections panel to open it up and then once inside, I’ll click on the Profile link. I’ll then check the two boxes on top. The first one removes Chromatic Aberration and the second actives the Lens Profile Corrections area below. When this area becomes activated, I’ll choose the make of the camera I used to take the shot and then the make and model of the lens that was used. After I do this, I should see the image move slightly. Or dramatically. I’ve found that standard lenses don’t introduce overwhelming distortion, but GoPro cameras do. So, it really depends on what type of lens was used to capture the image.
If there is excessive distortion or vignetting in the image you’re editing, you can push the Distortion and Vignetting sliders that are located at the bottom of the panel.
Really, you should lens correct pretty much every shot you edit in Lightroom. This is standard practice.
Now onto the fun stuff. I’ll click to close this panel and then I’ll click on the Transform panel. This is an interesting panel to hang out in because everyone’s results will vary with intention and use. What I can tell you about this panel is that you’ll need to experiment. For the photo I’m working on, I went ahead and clicked the Full button because I wanted both vertical and horizontal correction. If you’re only looking for one type of correction, go ahead and click through all the buttons to see which one suits you.
Below these buttons are a bunch of sliders. Each one does something dramatically different than the others. If you are editing a photo of a person standing there and you feel as though they appear to be leaning back too much, you can adjust the photo so it leans in at the top. You can shrink one side of a photo while enlarging another. The sky is the limit with these sliders and again, experimentation will be necessary. It really depends on what you’d like to do with your images.
Well there you have it. A quick introduction to both the Lens Corrections and the Transform panels. Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks!
Oh yeah, let’s see the straightened photograph.