Writing with Light

Lens Correction in Lightroom 5 – Fixing Rome

I don’t know what it is, but when handholding my DSLR, often times my horizon isn’t straight. I don’t know maybe I’m a little off kilter 🙂 In any case in a lot of shots I have to straighten my horizon in post. The other problem I sometimes face when shooting buildings is that the perspective is off and the building looks like it’s leaning backwards. If I had a Tilt Shift lens I could take care of that problem in camera but alas I don’t. This is where the Lens Correction panel in the develop module in Lightroom 5 comes in.

I have to say that LR5 has become not only an organizational and cataloguing tool for my image library but my go to post processing software as well. The power of LR5 never ceases to amaze me. I would say that 85% of my images are processed in Lightroom alone and I only use Photoshop now for detailed cloning work.

The image below was taken while I was walking around Rome. This is the original RAW file, straight out of camera.



As you can see it needs some work. Not only is the building leaning a bit sideways but it’s also leaning back. I first used the “Level” tool in the Lens Correction panel then the “Vertical” tool to straighten the building. Then I opened up the shadows which brought back all the detail inside the windows and the tables of the restaurant. I then increased the clarity and vibrance slightly, made some adjustments with the Luminance sliders in a few colours and added a bit of detail.

Here you have it…the final image. Click on the image to enlarge.

Rome, Italy, restaurent, dining, patio, travel photography, building, shutters

25 responses

  1. tedgriffith

    Great post Edith! The first step in my post-processing (after import into Lightroom 5) is the lens correction panel before anything else gets done.


    December 8, 2014 at 10:54 am

  2. Nelson

    It happens to me very often that the horizon is off. Even if I pay real attention and try hard, still, when I look at the photo on my computer you see it’s off. Thanks to post-process, it does help bring balance in my life.

    Liked by 1 person

    December 8, 2014 at 12:57 pm

  3. I can’t hold a camera straight either, although the viewfinder has a grid on it to help me. I have never used Lightroom, (yet). The thing that is holding me back is the thought of having the software control the cataloging of images and where it stores data on the processing. I want to be in charge of my images and be able to move them around folders. Maybe I’m worrying unnecessarily.


    December 8, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    • I think you’re worrying needlessly as Laurie indicated as well. I’m completely in control of cataloguing my images and deciding how I want them stored and in what folder. I held out for a long time before getting Lightroom and now I can’t see myself without.


      December 8, 2014 at 10:03 pm

  4. I use Lightroom (though I’m still on LR 4), and I love it – it’s pretty much the only thing I use. Love the image, Edith.

    And a note to Andy – it does sound like you’re worrying unnecessarily. You can move images around as much as you want (best if you do this within LR, but even if you don’t, LR is forgiving). And you can control where the catalogue and the processing data are stored. I feel very much in charge of my images and my data, and LR is a terrific tool – not just the processing module, but also the Library (i.e. the catalogue). I like the slideshow and print modules as well (the print module is useful for more than just printing, I find), and I’m starting to use the map module a bit too.


    December 8, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    • Thanks so much Laurie. I haven’t used the print module or slideshow yet but that’s the next thing I have to learn.


      December 8, 2014 at 10:04 pm

      • I use the “soft proofing” tool (in Develop) a lot, in preparing my images for printing. Because I only have a small printer, I don’t usually use the Print module for actual printing, but I use it to prepare the image for the printer I’m sending the file to. The Slideshow module has some limitations, but I’m finding there are workarounds to these, and I really like its interactivity with the Develop & Library modules – makes for a simple workflow.


        December 9, 2014 at 4:27 pm

  5. Love the image Edith. I use Lightroom for initial image review and RAW conversion to .tif. I then head over to Photoshop. I’m with Andy, I hate the way Lightroom tries to catalogue my images so I just regularly delete the catalogue the program creates. I have my own filing system and will stick with it.
    I haven’t used these particular tools, I do these kind of corrections in Photoshop but I’ll perhaps give them a go now. Thanks for the introduction. 🙂


    December 8, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    • Thanks Adrian. I think you need to give Lightroom another try. I set up my catalogue and told Lightroom how I wanted my images stored so you are totally in charge.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 8, 2014 at 10:43 pm

    • Certainly you should give it another try Adrian. I’m very particular with how I like my photos stored and you can get Lightroom to do exactly what you want.


      December 29, 2014 at 10:48 am

  6. LB

    Thank you for the tip!
    I’m slowly learning LR and have no idea what version it is :-). I’ll check that out and then look into lens correction.
    You will probably not believe this but I used Picassa for years and still find one or two things about it that I like over LR… then again i’ve only been using LR since early summer and have much to learn.


    December 9, 2014 at 6:26 am

    • There are always little things that you still can get out of your favorite programs. I find that as well but I think once you start using LR more you’ll love how powerful it is.


      December 9, 2014 at 9:33 am

  7. Len

    Great shot Edith. Seems like we use Lightroom the same way. I use the OnOne Suite for most of my cloning these days and PS is used only when there is significant cloning to be done. I am finding that the OnOne Suite is becoming a PS competitor.


    December 9, 2014 at 7:08 am

    • I have the older version of OnOne and I agree its a powerful program as well. I keep meaning to upgrade and become more proficient at it but I just need to find the time to do so.


      December 9, 2014 at 9:34 am

  8. Great! I’m still trying to decide whether to take the plunge into Lightroom…..

    Liked by 1 person

    December 10, 2014 at 3:24 am

  9. Nice post Edith, I am with you on Lightroom, great product

    Liked by 1 person

    December 10, 2014 at 8:23 am

  10. That is an amazing transformation. Thanks for sharing, I’ll be trying this on some of my Italy pics


    December 12, 2014 at 12:16 pm

  11. Lightroom has amazing abilities and you showed them to great perfection.


    December 13, 2014 at 9:41 am

  12. I was forced to move from Capture NX earlier this year and switched to Lightroom. What a fantastic piece of software and, like you, it’s my first choice for processing now. I haven’t really looked into the ‘lens correction’ tool yet but it looks pretty useful – thank you!


    December 29, 2014 at 10:46 am

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