Last week Adobe rolled out the latest updates to Lightroom. Lightroom 6 users will see little change apart from bug fixes and new camera support lens profiles (this Adobe article has the full details).
Lightroom CC users get a redesigned Lens Corrections panel and a new Transform panel. Both of these appear in the right-hand panels in the Develop module.
New Lens Corrections panel
Adobe has simplified the Lens Correction panel, moving the Upright tool to the Transform panel.
There are just two tabs in the new layout, Profile and Manual. Under the Profile tab there are two boxes – Remove Chromatic Aberration and Enable Profile Corrections. Tick these boxes and select the appropriate lens profile (if Lightroom doesn’t detect it automatically). Lightroom detects and removes any chromatic aberrations in your photo, and applies the lens profile to remove any vignetting and distortion caused by the lens.
If you’re not happy with the results you can use the Distortion and Vignetting sliders at the bottom to override Lightroom’s adjustments, or go to the Manual tab which gives you more options and also lets you manually remove chromatic aberrations.
In the screenshot above the message Built-in Lens Profile applied appears to show that Lightroom is using the built-in profile supplied by the software in my Fujifilm camera. There is no need to tick Enable Profile Corrections when this message is displayed – you won’t find a profile for your lens in Lightroom’s database anyway.
New Transform panel
The Upright tool now appears in the Transform panel. You’ll see the Auto, Level, Vertical and Full options available in earlier versions of Lightroom, plus the new Guided tab.
You’ll also see seven sliders under each tab – Vertical, Horizontal, Rotate, Aspect, Scale, X Offset and Y Offset. The first five of these were available under the Manual tab in earlier versions of Lightroom, but now all the sliders are available under each tab, allowing you to override Lightroom without switching tabs.
The main purpose of the Transform panel is to let you correct distortion caused by tilting the camera when photographing buildings. This is most likely to happen when you use a wide-angle lens, as it is hard to judge whether the camera is level, even with a grid display in the viewfinder.
Of course, you should aim to get it right in-camera as much as you can. The Transform panel works wonders but it also crops your image. If you are taking photos of buildings that may need correction it is wise to leave a little extra space around the edges to allow for this.
Here’s an example. I was looking up at this statue when I took the photo, hence the converging verticals.
The first step is to try the Auto, Level, Vertical and Full sliders to see if any of these successfully corrects the image (my ebook Mastering Lightroom: Book Two – The Develop Module explains how to use them in detail).
In this case, Vertical gave the best result. If this is good enough for you, you can stop here. You can also tweak any of these settings using the sliders underneath.
By the way, make sure you have enabled Profile Corrections in the Lens Corrections panel first, as all the tools in the Transform panel will work better with straight lines (it is harder for Lightroom to tell if a line is meant to be straight if it has been curved by barrel distortion).
The new Guided tool is for those occasions when Lightroom’s automatic tools don’t correct the image properly. It relies on you drawing lines on the image to show where the straight lines are. Lightroom then uses this information to correct the image.
This screenshot shows how it works. I’ve drawn a line along one of the converging verticals in the image. Lightroom shows a loupe allowing you to see precisely where to place the line (tick the Show Loupe box in the Toolbar if you don’t see it).
Then I drew a second line on another vertical (both lines are marked in the screenshot below). You can draw lines along horizontal lines as well as verticals.
Once you’ve drawn at least two lines Lightroom automatically corrects the image. You can add more lines if you need to, but in this example the result was spot on. You can also use the sliders at the bottom to tweak the results.
Lightroom crops the image, but you can use the Scale and Offset sliders to see the uncropped image and move it to the centre of the screen.
When you tick the Constrain Crop box Lightroom crops the image to eliminate the white space. Note that as the original photo was already cropped, Lightroom has included some extra space on the left.
I’ve only had chance to play briefly with the new tools but so far I like what I see. It’s a good move to simplify the Lens Corrections panel as it separates correcting lens distortion and eliminating chromatic aberrations, something that it’s a good idea to do with every photo, from the act of correcting distortion caused by the way the camera was held, which some photographers will hardly ever need. For those of you that require the Transform panel tools, the new layout makes them even easier to use.
If you have any questions about Photo Mechanic or Lightroom then please let me know in the comments. In the meantime, you can learn more about Lightroom with these article and ebook resources.
Mastering Lightroom ebooks
My Mastering Lightroom ebooks show you how to get the most out of Lightroom. They cover the entire workflow process, including post-processing in the Develop module. Click the link to learn more.
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