How to have Lightroom CC Auto-Straighten Your Photos

Author: Scott Kelby

Scott is the President of KelbyOne, an online educational community for photographers, Photoshop and Lightroom users. He's editor and publisher of Photoshop User Magazine, Editor of "Lightroom magazine"; Conference Technical Chair for the Photoshop World Conference & Expo, and the author of a string of bestselling Photoshop, Lightroom, and photography books. You can learn more about Scott at http://scottkelby.com

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16 Comments

  1. Hi Scott I found this explanations extremely helpful. However, there is one thing I have not been able to automate in a preset. In the develop mode, there is the Crop & Straighten option. Within it, there is the Auto Angle. I prefer this over the Transform > Level option, because I can still see the image outside to cropped region. Transform “adjusts” it but the I cannot see the original image. Anyway to automate LR to use the Auto Angle?

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  2. Thanks for the handy post Scott, I’ll check out your class eventually. Just need a couple more hours in each day.

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    • This is going to save me HOURS in the future. I do a lot of surf photography… imagine… hundreds of photos and a horizon in every one of them, most of them crooked, and I used to straighten them all manually, one by one… until today. THANK YOU!!

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  3. I have a two-part question and I hope it isn’t a ‘feature request’. Is there a way to select several photos and have Auto-Straighten correct each one rather than apply the correction from the most selected photo? Is the something like Upright Mode that would let me add Auto-Straighten to an import preset and have it correct each photo on import (now it just applies the straightening it put in for the photo used to create the preset). Thanks!!!

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        • You could select all desired photos, then in Develop click the Level button in the Transform panel to auto level the active photo. Then click the Sync button, and in the Synchronize Settings dialog click Check None to clear it, and then only check Upright Mode (under Transform). Click Synchronize, and it should sync an auto level adjustment to each photo individually (as opposed to adjusting all to same setting). It doesn’t guarantee the auto level will be right every time, but it should give you an auto adjustment in a batch.

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  4. I learned at least 3 new things in less than 2 minutes. Thank you for these short videos Scott, they are really helpful – even for people who have used Lightroom for 4+ years – and the length of the videos is great.

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  5. I have been wondering about this! It seems I’ve been shooting “crooked” lately and knew there must be an auto function somewhere. Thanks!

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  6. IS there a keyboard shortcut for the second step of AUTO or LEVEL?

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    • You can cycle through the options in Lens Corrections (OFF/AUTO/LEVEL/VERTICAL/FULL) at any time by CTRL-TAB (windows). Is that what you’re asking ?

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      • I was looking for a keyboard shortcut to simply auto level without going to the mouse. Or even a two-step like R and then another letter to auto level.

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  7. Hi Scott – another great, super-short, snappy (heh) video.

    I have a more detailed question about horizon straightening in Lightroom and, having asked around, I don’t have a workable answer – so here goes.

    Sometimes you have an image with a small piece of horizon to work from – it’s large enough to know that it’s not straight but too small to accurately straighten without a tonne of trial-and-error. Do you know of a way to (accurately) use the straightening tool on such small areas?

    Ideally I’d like to zoom in and use the straighten tool but you can’t do that. Any ideas?

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    • Bring up the crop tool and get it artificially tight around the area you want to use as your horizontal reference. (It’ll be like zooming in…)

      Do the 2 point ruler. Resize the crop by using the handles.

      Kind of a long way around something that ought to be simple right ?

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  8. Love these tips, Scott! Even if I’ve heard them before, the repetition helps me remember they’re out there. Thanks!

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