Lightroom Tip: Perspective

When you aim your camera up, you get converging verticals – like this:

You can use an expensive tilt-shift lens to fix that.

But there is an easier way: in the Lightroom “Develop” module, find “Lens Corrections”, go to the “Manual” tab, and you see this:

Pull “Vertical” to the left a little (as I did above), and you get this:

The verticals have been disciplined!

All you now need to do is crop off the edges (see bottom left).

Simple – takes only a second. Lightroom rocks!


Lightroom tip

You know how you sometimes have to shoot with the camera slightly up or down? And how that makes the vertical lines converge or diverge at the top – i.e. they are no longer vertical?

Oakville street scene (Photo: Michael Willems)

Enter Lightroom. Simply go to the Develop module, and the Lens Corrections pane. Select “Manual” and adjust “vertical” until the vertical lines are straight:

Now your image is straight.

If you forget to crop after the adjustment, you will have empty areas around one end of the image:

But crop so they disappear, and all is well.

Oakville street scene (Photo: Michael Willems)

Total time taken: Like, um, three seconds? Lightroom rocks not because of what it can do (I can do this in Photoshop as well) but because of how convenient and quick it is (in Photoshop, this would take me several minutes).


Enlarging the moon

One aspect of wide versus telephoto lenses is how large the background gets. As in “If you want a large moon, use a long lens”.

Huh? What do you mean, Michael?

I shall illustrate with a couple of shots I took of a student during a “Creative Urban Photography” outing the other day. One with a long lens, and one with a wide angle lens.

Ignore the light (I was using a flash with a warming gel on one camera, and no flash at all on the other), and look instead at the size of the blurred-out car in the background:

Here’s picture one:

Student during recent CUP outing, Oakville

Student during recent CUP outing, Oakville

Now look at picture two (where by moving my position I have kept the subject the same size):

Student during recent CUP outing, Oakville

Student during recent CUP outing, Oakville

See how that car magically grew much larger in the second picture?

Do I need to explain which picture was taken with a wide angle lens, and which one with a telephoto lens?

So now imagine the person is a tree and the car is the moon at night, or the setting sun. So what lens would I be most likely to use if I want a large moon or a large setting sun?