Time for another of my occasional series of blog post on different aspects of Lightroom.  This time I want to give you a guide to…

The Transform Panel

You can find the transform panel in the Develop Module, it is the seventh panel below the crop/heal/etc tool bar.

Transform is where you can correct for converging verticals and horizontals.  In many cases, “Auto” does a reasonable job and usually the best option to try first.

“Level” will just correct the horizontals, while “Vertical”, as the name suggests corrects the verticals.  “Full” will do both but in many cases can give unwanted results.

“Guided” allows you to draw on up to four guidelines indicating sections of the image which need to be vertical or horizontal.  This is probably the most accurate way to correct the image but is more time-consuming.

I tend to try “Auto” first and if that doesn’t work I then move over to using “Guided”.

The “Constrain Crop” box will modify the crop to ensure that there is no ‘blank’ space in the frame caused by the transformation, although it can sometimes give unexpected results.  A better alternative is often to ensure this box is unselected and then manually crop the image using the crop tool (short-cut key – R)

The sliders allow you to tweak the transformation after using the buttons above.  This is sometime need to because images can still need some refinement.  From experience often a very slight rotate is needed after transformation.  In other cases adding back in a small amount of conversion to the verticals can give a more pleasing look to an image.

Step by step guide to correcting Verticals

This technique is for Lightroom CC (subscription edition).  Verticals can be adjusted in the boxed/non-subscription version but the “guided” method described here is not available.

1.  In the lens correction tab ensure “enable profile corrections” is enabled and the correct lens is selected. This will remove all the distortion caused by the lens and give you the best possible starting point.

2. On the transform tab, select guided transformation and draw lines to indicate where two vertical lines in the image are. Tip: follow the vertical lines of window or drain pipes

3. Draw one or two horizontal lines to indicate which sections should be level – again use a line of windows or guttering as your guide.

4. To crop the image, do NOT select “constrain crop” as you may get unpredictable results. Instead, select the “crop tool” from the tool bar below the histogram. (short cut key “r”)

I hope this quick guide has helped you get to grips with correcting verticals and horizontals in Lightroom,

Until next time, keep MAKING great images,

Ian.