Masterclass #8: Lightroom's Powerful TRANSFORM Tool (VIDEO)

For the past couple months we’ve been bringing you weekly installments of an amazing free Lightroom Masterclass from the PHLOG Photography YouTube channel—each devoted to an important tool or technique that can make a huge improvement in your results.

The tutorial below is Part 8 of the series, explaining how to use Lightroom’s versatile Transform tools to easily correct geometric irregularities in images shot outdoors. Whether a photo is spoiled by converging vertical lines, a crooked horizon, or other such anomaly, you’ll learn the quick fix in barely six minutes.

German landscape pro Christian Mohrle is a favorite among Shutterbug readers because of his straightforward tutorials that are illustrated with impactful photos. His demonstration image today is a seaside shot with a few problems, and you can download the Raw file and make the adjustments he recommends while watching the lesson.

Mohrle begins in Lightroom’s Transform panel and explains how it works. Expanding the panel reveals a variety of helpful options for different tasks. These settings can be employed to level a crooked shot, and fix vertical and horizontal lines that don’t appear in the photo like they did with your eyes.

Mohrle explains why these irregularities can be particularly problematic when shooting in the field with a wide-angle lens. The simple rehabilitation process he describes will prove equally valuable when editing architectural and cityscape photos.

You’ll want to start by enabling Lens Corrections with a checkbox in Lightroom’s dedicated panel. Then it’s time to open the Transform tab and get to work, using the various siders and buttons as Mohrle suggests.

Some key Lightroom settings are turned off by default, but you can easily change that so transformations are applied automatically. Of course you can make the necessary adjustments yourself using a manual approach if you prefer. Mohrle’s describes how the different sliders work so you’ll know exactly what to do.

If landscape photography is your thing, be sure to pay a visit to Mohrle’s instructional YouTube channel. There’s plenty there to explore, including previous installments of the Lightroom Masterclass series.

And for another helpful explainer, check out our earlier post with the ultimate guide to bracketing photos for perfect exposure.