Lightroom comes in two versions. Lightroom Classic CC, the ‘desktop’ version, is probably the most popular, especially amongst long-term Lightroom users, but Lightroom CC has a lot to commend it.
On the downside, it means paying extra for Adobe Creative Cloud storage – the 20GB with the regular Photography Plan is not enough, and the 1TB plan is a working minimum. Lightroom CC is also simpler than Lightroom Classic CC in its tools and its layout, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Lightroom Classic CC can feel distinctly oppressive, bloated and somewhat dated, even. Lightroom CC perhaps represents Adobe’s attempt to start again with a clean slate. If Lightroom CC could be configured for regular desktop storage, I think I’d drop Lightroom Classic CC like a stone.
One way or another, it seems a good time to turn the spotlight away from Lightroom Classic CC and look at what Lightroom CC can do, and I’ll start with the Geometry panel.
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The Geometry panel
- EDIT BUTTON Click this to open the Edit tools sidebar
- GEOMETRY PANEL Click/tap the heading to display the tools
- UPRIGHT MENU Displays a series of automatic correction options
- CONSTRAIN CROP Click this to prevent blank wedges after corrections
- MANUAL TRANSFORM Displays manual correction sliders
- GUIDED UPRIGHT Draw lines on the image to align with horizontal and vertical line
The Upright menu
Auto gives a balanced set of adjustments, not too extreme, Level attempts to level the image horizontally. Vertical corrects converging verticals. Full attempts to correct both horizontal and vertical perspective.
Guided Upright tool
With this tool you manually drag out lines on the image to correspond with straight edges in the picture. For this church, there were clear horizontal and vertical lines we could follow. The image corrects in real time as you work. This was the most successful approach for this picture.
Sometimes, adjusting the perspective controls individually with sliders can prove an easier and more systematic solution for difficult images. You can apply one correction at a time and only those which are needed.
Lightroom CC Geometry tips
- Many images benefit from geometric correction, from straightening a skewed horizon, to correcting converging verticals.
- Apply Lens Corrections before you start. It’s difficult to visually judge images with residual barrel or pincushion distortion.
- Always check the Constrain Crop box. This saves you from having to manually crop the image later.
- Start with the automatic Upright corrections. Lightroom will analyse the objects in your image and may save you a lot of manual work.
- Move on to the Guided Upright tool if the automatic corrections aren’t working.
- The Manual Transform panel is useful if you want to apply minimal corrections carefully.
- If you lose important parts of the picture, swap to the Crop tool to reframe the image.