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Cropping and Straightening in Lightroom

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A crooked horizon line or an extra person in the image can spoil an otherwise great photo. Scott Kelby shows how to straighten a picture or magically decrease the number of people in the room.
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Photoshop Lightroom can both crop and straighten photos, and the straightening control in Photoshop Lightroom is among the best I’ve ever seen in any program. Cropping is a different story. If you’re used to cropping in a program like Adobe Photoshop CS2 or CS3, Lightroom’s version might throw you for a loop, because it uses an entirely different method of cropping, and you might find that you like it better. Hey, I said you might find that you like it better, so I have a pretty big out if you don’t like it, because it’s way crazy different. It works. It’s nondestructive. But it’s different.

Step 1

The photo in Figure 1 has a huge problem—the horizon line isn’t straight. In fact, it’s so bad that we’d better fix this first. (By the way, despite the fact that this shot was taken during the timeframe that might be considered by some as "Happy Hour," I just want to say for the record that I wasn’t the least bit hammered when I took this crooked shot—it takes more than the six or seven drinks I had before I shoot that crooked. Okay, you know I’m kidding here, right? Good.) To straighten your photo, start by clicking the Crop Overlay button, found on the left side of the toolbar below the Preview area (it’s circled in Figure 1), or pressing R.

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