A little perspective correction can make a big difference in your images. While this is particularly evident in architectural images, it’s true of all images. If you think of it as perspective adjustment or controlled distortion, the visual possibilities open to you will grow dramatically.
Perspective adjustment has never been easier with the new feature Upright, introduced in Lightroom 5 and Photoshop CC. It’s virtually automated. The results are often magic. How Upright knows what it knows and how and when it decides to work are somewhat predictable, but sometimes mysterious.
Found in the Lens Corrections panel, Upright also uses lens profile metadata and works in conjunction with the Enable Profile Corrections. If you activate Enable Profile Corrections after using Upright, for best results click Reanalyze. You can also use Upright without lens profile metadata or corrections.
Upright has four settings: Level, Vertical, Full and Auto. Level straightens horizontal lines. Vertical straightens vertical lines. Full straightens both horizontal and vertical lines. Auto attempts to find a pleasing balance between both horizontal and vertical distortions, often aligning neither perfectly, but still delivering impressive improvements. Upright offers buttons, not sliders. In other words, it’s all or nothing—there are no in-between settings. Nonetheless, there are many ways to finesse the results you get with Upright, in Lightroom, Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop.
The distortions Upright creates can be modified further with Manual Lens Corrections. "Upright resets crop and perspective correction settings. To preserve these settings, press Option when choosing an Upright correction." Start with Upright and then proceed to Manual, as using Upright will inevitably change the values you feel are optimal for Manual transforms.
You can change the effects of Upright settings by first drawing straight lines onto an image. To do this, you have to draw lines on a rasterized image in Photoshop and then convert it to a Smart Object before applying Upright with the Camera Raw filter. Knowing exactly how thick, where and at what angle to draw these lines isn’t easy to predict. It can be done, but with the amount of trial and error this involves, it’s almost certain you’ll choose another method.
There will be times when the results of Upright perspective adjustment work well for one area of an image, but go too far in another. When you encounter this, consider using Photoshop to select and Free Transform (the simplest of Photoshop’s many distortion tools like Perspective Warp and Puppet Warp) the adversely affected area.