Adobe recently released the Lightroom 5 Beta for evaluation which means everyone can download a free trial to play with it’s new features. What’s exciting for architects and architectural photographers is that it includes a couple tools either specifically designed for architectural photography, or highly suited to architectural photography.
New perspective correction tool
The first is the Upright Tool which allows for perspective control from within Lightroom. Perspective correction was possible in a rudimentary way in Lightroom 4 via the vertical slider in the lens correction panel, but now it has it’s own tool that’s been beefed up. And rather than being a manual slider, the tool now does a heap of maths and provides some automatic settings. For people who were exporting to Photoshop to do perspective correction this is going to be a big workflow bonus. For professional photographers perspective correction is still best dealt with in camera (eg, by using tilt shift lenses), but for images that need to be tweaked, or for photographers who don’t have access to tilt shift lenses, this is going to be very useful. Below is a Youtube clip from Principal Digital Imaging Evangelist (I didn’t make that title up!) Julieanne Kost explaining how this tool works.
Photoshop’s Content Aware Fill Tool comes to Lightroom
The second tool is the Advanced Healy Brush tool. This is very much like the Content Aware Fill Tool in Photoshop which is invaluable for removing distracting elements from an image, but now you don’t need to leave Lightroom to be able to do it, well at least for simple to moderate edits. Here’s an example of what it can do. Let’s say there is a power line crossing through the sky from left to right. You can paint over the power line, assuming that it’s not intersecting with other complicated parts of the image, and the tool will magically make it disappear. What it’s actually doing is cloning / healing that area to match the pixels near by and because this tool is being applied from within Lightroom it’s non-destructive. So if you don’t like the end result in six months you can simply delete that adjustment, or reset the entire image. Here’s a second video from Julieanne Kost explaining how it works.