How to use the new Upright tool in Lightroom CC

Posted by on Jun 23, 2016 in Lightroom, Software | 0 comments

How to use the new Upright tool in Lightroom CC

Sorry for not continuing my story of my transition to Fuji this week, but Adobe released an update for Lightroom CC that I think is important to show you.  Earlier in June Adobe released a new version of Lightroom and for CC subscribers there was a new feature added – “Guided Upright”.  As this does change one of the existing panels in the develop module (Lens Corrections) and add a new panel (Transform).

The first thing you will notice when you go to the Lens Correction panel, the Upright tool is no longer there in Lightroom CC 2015.6, it has been moved to a separate panel just below called Transform.  You will also notice that some of the other controls that were on the Lens Corrections panel are now on the Transform panel.


This change is a good move I feel as the Lens Correction panel was doing quite a lot and now by splitting it I think it helps to improve flow of developing images.  So how exactly do you use the new Guided Upright tool?  Firstly, you need to choose an image that needs correction, whilst you can use it on portraits etc, we usually consider using it for pictures of buildings.

Mausoleum, Rabat, Morocco

Mausoleum, Rabat, Morocco

Above is an image I captured in Rabat, Morocco.  As you can see I was not straight on and the building is leaning back as I shot this from fairly low.  So we start by opening up the Lens Correction panel and ticking the checkbox for Enable Lens Corrections, this will enable the Lens Profile select boxes below it and should in most cases auto select the Make of the Lens, Model of the Lens and a Profile.

Enable Profile Corrections and select the Lens Profile options

Enable Profile Corrections and select the Lens Profile options

Next we want to open up the Transform panel, it is just below the Lens Corrections panel.


For those on Lightroom 6 and not CC, your best option is going to be to start by clicking the Auto button, this will try to auto detect lines in the image to use as a guide to straighten the image.  It does do a good job but the new Guided Upright tool gives up much better control.  To access this, we start by clicking the crossed lines in the top left hand corner of the panel.  This will change your mouse cursor to a cross and you will have a small window attached showing you an enlarged view of the area under the cursor.  This is so you can better place the guides on the image.


What you are wanting to do with the guide is place it along an edge or line in the image that should be straight, I start by clicking (and holding the mouse button down) at a spot near the top of the building.  Then with the button held down you will see a line appear, you then want to move the mouse to the other side of the building, to the spot where the edge finishes.  The line should run between the initial spot and where you mouse is now, once you have it lined up with the edge you can release the mouse button and the guide will be set.  If you find you made a mistake and it is not lined up correctly, you can hover over one of the ends of the guide, where the square small square is, and the mouse cursor will change to a hand, you can then click and drag it to the correct spot, or you can tap the delete key on your keyboard to delete the guide all together.

You can only place 4 guides, generally you want to place 2 horizontal guides and 2 vertical guides.  Try to choose a spot that is at the top and another that is at the bottom of the image or building.  Similar for the vertical guides, try to select spots that are on opposite sides of the image.


After placing the first 2 guides in the same direction the image will start to correct based on that, and after all 4 have been placed you will find that the building will be displayed as if you had photographed it straight on instead of at an angle.  Once you have finished placing and adjusting the guides you can click back in the spot you picked up the tool from and it will hide the guides you have placed.  You can then use the sliders in the Transform section to help manually adjust the image.  For this image I want to see a bit more of the building so I can use the Scale slider to zoom out and restore some of the original image.


Next I can take this over to Adobe Photoshop and use Content Aware Fill to fill in the white areas of the image that were not captured.


And finally a crop to remove the areas that I do not want and those areas that the content aware fill did not do a great job on.


And after some other basic edits we have a final image with the building not falling over.

I hope this has been a helpful run through on this new feature from Adobe, look forward to seeing some of the images on our Facebook page.

Tony White is an Australian based photographer with 15 years experience. A regular contributor to international competitions, Tony has been awarded honours from the Australian Photographic Society as well as International bodies.  Tony enjoys the technical as well as creative side of photography and has a great passion to share his knowledge and experience.  Tony helped to launch OzLight Photo Adventures ( providing courses and practical workshops in all aspects of photography.


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