Post-Processing in Lightroom: Fixing Vertical Distortion

The subject for this week’s post-processing video is this shot I took in Lisbon, Portugal. It provides a good, simple example of how to use the vertical distortion tool in Lightroom to change the perspective of a photograph.

This image was more popular than I thought it would be. I guess I should be focussing more on images with animals in! I don’t take many of those right now. There are a couple of other little Lightroom tricks in the video that I explain along the way, so I’m hoping you’ll find it useful!

If you’re interested in seeing some more before and after post-processing, be sure to check out the AB Friday Forum run by Stacy Fischer. It’s a fantastic place to pick up some tips and tricks while being inspired by the great work of other photographers.

As I said last time, if you have any requests for shots that you’re interested in seeing just let me know and I’ll endeavour to put together a similar video over the coming weeks and months. See you in two weeks for the next installment!

Have you used the distortion tools in Lightroom? Maybe you have a trick or two to share? I’d love to hear from you!


10 thoughts on “Post-Processing in Lightroom: Fixing Vertical Distortion

  1. kazg10

    Thanks Ben great tutorials which I have only just discovered although I follow you. I too use Lightroom but very basically so really will be looking forward to more of these. I have a problem with blown out skies.
    Other than sliding down the highlight tool is there another way of reducing the over-exposed sun/sky?

    1. Ben Post author

      Hi Kaz, blown out skies are a pretty common issue I think. To try and prevent the issue I am always thinking about my exposure when shooting a shot with the sky in. It’s generally better to expose for the highlights in your shot, as the shadows are much easier to recover in post-processing.

      You could try using the Graduated Filter or Adjustment Brush on the sky and reducing the exposure? You could also try using the Whites slider although I think that will have less of an impact. Are you processing a RAW or JPG image? I think you’ll find it’s more difficult to recover the detail with a JPG, they have a lot less information than a RAW file.

      Hope that helps in some way. Any more questions just let me know! 🙂

  2. Pingback: After-Before Friday Week 4 | Visual Venturing

  3. jaime perez

    Well done Ben; Good tutorial about vertical distortion corrections. I agree the After version looks mopre tidy and much better in brightness and contrast but I’m not so sure about changing the point of view. Why? well, just because (I guess) the main point of attraction is not the window but the puppies, and they are looking straight to the camera. So, particularly, in the After version I feel like it’s missing the magical intriguing feeling of “what will be happening up there with those cute puppies?”

    1. Ben Post author

      Hi Jaime, thanks so much for your honest feedback! I hadn’t even considered that point of view but looking back I absolutely agree. There is an element of intrigue in the initial composition that is lost with my final crop. I think my instinct was to correct the distortion as that’s what I’ve always done in the past!

    1. Ben Post author

      Thanks Kan, in which case for my next video I’ll be sure to choose a shot that uses the graduated filter! 🙂

  4. SPFischer

    Ben, great post! I haven’t yet used the distortion correction slider, so thanks for the tip. As for the photo, the “puppies” — real or not — are adorable and the tile work is lovely. The two combine for a great shot.

    Jaime’s comment is intriguing (he has made me rethink some of my images too). It’s always fun to learn other’s interpretations.

    Thanks for participating in ABFriday and for the shout out! My goal is to become as polished a speaker in my videos as you are in yours 🙂 How is it you don’t falter at all while speaking — is public speaking something you do as part of your profession? Well done video!

    1. Ben Post author

      Thanks Stacy! I agree, that’s what so great about the community you’re trying to create with AB Friday. There is always something new to learn and a different perspective to consider.

      The shout out was my pleasure! I don’t do any public speaking, but the video I publish is normally a second or third take after I have a better idea of what I’m going to say. The first take is generally a bit of a mess! Having said that, since I work as a software developer I’m well practiced at using an application on the computer and explaining it to somebody at the same time so I expect that helps a bit. In any case, I wouldn’t say my videos are any better than yours at all!


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