The newest version of Adobe’s popular Photoshop Lightroom 5 adds several features that further expand Lightroom’s ability to handle the entire photo workflow, from organization to processing and sharing. Two of our favorite new features are Upright and the Advanced Healing brush. These tools make quick work of common photo enhancements.
Even when shooting on a tripod, you may miss getting your horizon straight. And when working with tall subjects like architecture, converging vertical lines may be something you want to correct. Rotating, skewing and cropping your image to get straight horizontals and verticals is possible in most image editors, but it can be time-consuming, especially if you’re working with a batch of images that all need the same correction.
Upright makes these corrections for you automatically. Found under Lens Corrections, Basic, in the Develop Module, Upright offers four settings. Auto will level the horizon, adjust aspect ratio and make perspective corrections in one click. Level will make perspective corrections emphasizing horizontal lines, while Vertical will make corrections weighted on verticals. Full (used in our example image here) is a combination of all of these and has the strongest effect, but it also will likely require more cropping.
You can also take a more precise approach using the sliders under the Manual tab. The Distortion slider is particularly useful for quickly fixing pincushion and barrel distortion caused by wide-angle lenses. There are sliders here to control horizontal and vertical perspectives, image rotation, scale and aspect ratio.
ADVANCED HEALING BRUSH
The Spot Removal feature has been improved with the Advanced Healing brush, an intelligent cloning tool that attempts to match the texture and light of the area surrounding the object you’ve selected to remove.
Using the size-adjustable brush, paint over the object you want to remove—whether something as small as a speck of dust or as large as the electrical tower we’re removing here—and Lightroom automatically selects an area of the photo to sample for the replacement pixels. You instantly preview the effects and can easily change the sample area: Lightroom can resample automatically if you hit the forward-slash key, or you can manually drag the sample area to anywhere you’d like.
When using the Spot Removal tool and Advanced Healing brush to clean up spots caused by dust on your sensor or lens, the new Visualize Spots feature (enabled by the check box at the bottom left of the image viewer) shows you your image in high-contrast, inverted black-and-white, so you can more easily see areas of the image that may need retouching.
MORE NEW FEATURES
In addition to Upright and the Advanced Healing brush, there are several more upgrades to Lightroom worth exploring, including improved black-and-white conversion, GPS-based organization, Smart Previews for working on proxy images when traveling and expanded support for video with the ability to create slideshows with both still and motion clips. Visit adobe.com/lightroom to see all of the new features.