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Leveling and cropping the photograph

From: Enhancing a Sunset Photograph with Lightroom and Photoshop

Video: Leveling and cropping the photograph

In this movie, we will begin to work

Leveling and cropping the photograph

In this movie, we will begin to work on our photograph in the Lightroom develop module. Yet, before we start to work on this picture, one of the things that I want to do is open up some more screen space so we can really focus in on the image. And one way to do that is to collapse any unnecessary panels or areas of the interface that we won't be needing to work with. Well, for this project, we won't be needing to work with the panels on the left, so we can collapse those by clicking on the triangle icon, which is located right here.

Go ahead and clock on that, we can also collapse the film strip below, at least for now, so click on the triangle icon which is located on the base of the light room interface. And this just gives us more space so we can really focus in on this photograph. Well, now that we have the larger view of the photograph, one of the things that I notice is that the horizon line right here isn't level. It's tilting a little bit to the right. And when it comes to photographing the ocean, you want to make sure that that's level. So, we can fix that by working with the Crop and the Straighten tools.

In order to access the Crop tool, tap the R key on your keyboard. Or you can click on the Crop tool icon which is located right here in the tool strip. We'll go ahead and click on that icon, and it will open or give us access to the Crop tool. Well, next, we're going to use the Straighten tool which is located right here. Click on that icon, and you'll notice that your cursor changes. Well, now that you've accessed the Straighten tool, what you can do is you can click and drag over an area of your image that you think should be straight.

In this case, we know the horizon line should be straight. So, here we'll click and then drag and draw a line over that. Once you let go, what will happen is Lightroom will then straighten that line out and crop the photograph as needed. Now, once you've done that, you will notice that it needed to crop in to the photograph, to make that level. So, you may want to move this crop area around. Just click and drag inside of that area. You notice that you can change that. You could also crop this in if you wanted to drag this in a little bit.

In this case though, what I want to do is leave as much of the image as there as possible. But I do want to reposition this a little bit over to the right here. Maybe right about there. Then next we need to apply the crop. To do that, you have a few different options. You can either double click inside of the crop area, or you can simply slick on the Done button. Now, whenever you use the Crop tool in Lightroom, you can always make a change after the fact. For example, if you don't like this crop or if you think it isn't quite right, we'll just go ahead and reactivate the Crop tool by clicking on the icon.

Well, one of the things that I notice is that it feels like the image is now leaning a little bit too far to the left. So, I want to change the angle. To change the angle, you can either click and drag on this angle slider right here, although it makes some pretty big movements. What I like to do, to make more subtle adjustments, is to just position a cursor right over that. Notice how it lights up there. Then you can use your arrow keys. Tap the up arrow key and you can see how that's rotating the image. Now, it's leaning a little bit more to the right rather than to the left.

So, we can have that go up, or we can also bring that down. And this just gives us the ability to make some fine-tune adjustments to that part of the photograph. Alright, I actually think that looks a little bit better. And then next, I'm just going to drag this around, just a touch here, to move this. And I think that looks pretty good. Now this time, to apply the crop, let's double click inside of the crop area. And that will then apply this to the photograph. And also keep in mind that you can always change the crop down the road or after the fact. So, this isn't something that you're completely committed to.

Yet, that being said, typically you want to get this right from the get go so that all of the other adjustments really fit into this new composition which you've just created.

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