Adjust crop and rotation

The Develop module contains tools and controls for cropping and straightening photos. Lightroom crop and straighten controls work by first setting a crop boundary, and then moving and rotating the image in relation to the crop boundary. Or, you can use more traditional crop and straighten tools and drag directly in the photo.

As you adjust the crop overlay or move the image, Lightroom displays a grid of thirds within the outline to help you compose your final image. As you rotate an image, a finer grid appears to help you align to the straight lines in the image.

Video tutorial: Crop an image

Crop a photo

  1. Select the Crop Overlay tool  in the tool strip, or press R.

    An outline with adjustment handles appears around the photo.

  2. Drag in the photo with the Crop Frame pointer or drag a crop handle to set the crop boundary. Corner handles adjust both image width and height.


    After you drag a crop handle, select the Crop Frame tool to use it.

  3. Reposition the photo by dragging the photo within the crop frame using the Hand tool.
  4. (Optional) Select Constrain To Warp to keep the crop bounding box within the image area when lens corrections have been applied. Constrain To Warp prevents the photo from becoming distorted.
  5. Click the Crop Overlay tool or press Enter (Windows) or Return (Mac OS) when you’re finished cropping and straightening.


Press O to cycle through grid overlays in the crop area. To display the grid only when cropping, choose Tools > Tool Overlay > Auto Show. To turn off the grid, choose Tools > Tool Overlay > Never Show.

Crop to a specified aspect ratio

  1. Select the Crop Overlay tool  in the tool strip.

    The padlock icon in the tool drawer indicates and controls whether the crop controls are constrained.

  2. Choose an aspect ratio from the Aspect pop-up menu next to the padlock. Choose Original to specify the photo’s original aspect ratio. Choose Enter Custom to specify an aspect ratio that is not listed.


    Press Shift+A to select the Crop Overlay tool with the last-used aspect ratio.

    Lightroom stores up to five custom crop ratios. If you create more than that, the older ones drop off the list.

  3. Drag a crop handle to set the crop outline or drag with the Crop Frame tool .


    Press Shift as you drag a crop handle to temporarily constrain to the current aspect ratio.

Switch crop orientation

  1. Select the Crop Overlay tool  in the tool strip.
  2. Drag in the photo to set the crop boundary.
  3. Press X to change the orientation from landscape to portrait or portrait to landscape.

Straighten a photo

  • Select the Crop Overlay tool  in the tool strip, and do one of the following:
    • Rotate the photo using the Angle slider.

    • Rotate the photo by moving the pointer outside a corner crop handle to display the Rotate icon , and then drag to rotate the image. The axis of rotation is the center of the crop rectangle.

    • Select the Angle tool , and then drag in the photo along a line that you want to be horizontal or vertical.


Holding down Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac OS) with the Straighten tool selected displays a grid that helps you straighten the photo.

Clear or undo a crop or straighten adjustment

  • Click Reset in the Crop Overlay tool drawer.

Rotate or flip a photo in the Develop module

  • To rotate a photo in 90-degree increments, choose Photo > Rotate Left or Rotate Right. To rotate a photo to less than 90 degrees, see Straighten a photo. The photo rotates in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction around its center point.
  • To flip a photo horizontally from front to back so that you’re looking at a mirror image, choose Photo > Flip Horizontal. Objects that appeared on the left side appear on the right side, and vice versa. Text in the photo will show in reversed mirror image.
  • To flip a photo vertically from front to back so that you’re looking at a mirror image upside down, choose Photo > Flip Vertical.

Sharpening and noise reduction

Sharpen a photo

You sharpen photos at two stages in the Lightroom workflow: as you view and edit photos, and when you print or export them. Sharpening is part of the camera default that Lightroom automatically applies to your photos.

When Lightroom exports, prints, or rasterizes a photo for editing in an external editor, the sharpen setting for the image is applied to the rendered file.

  1. In the Develop module, zoom in on the photo to at least 100%.
  2. Drag in the Navigator panel to see an area of the photo that highlights the effect of the sharpening adjustment.
  3. In the Detail panel, adjust any of the following Sharpening settings:


    Adjusts edge definition. Increase the Amount value to increase sharpening. A value of zero (0) turns off sharpening. In general, set Amount to a lower value for cleaner images. The adjustment locates pixels that differ from surrounding pixels based on the threshold you specify and increases the pixels’ contrast by the amount you specify.


    Adjusts the size of the details that sharpening is applied to. Photos with very fine details may need a lower radius setting. Photos with larger details may be able to use a larger radius. Using too large a radius generally results in unnatural-looking results.


    Adjusts how much high-frequency information is sharpened in the image and how much the sharpening process emphasizes edges. Lower settings primarily sharpen edges to remove blurring. Higher values are useful for making the textures in the image more pronounced.


    Controls an edge mask. With a setting of zero (0), everything in the image receives the same amount of sharpening. With a setting of 100, sharpening is mostly restricted to those areas near the strongest edges.

Press Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac OS) while dragging a slider to see the areas being affected (white) versus the areas masked out (black).


To turn off sharpening, set the Amount slider to zero (0) or click the Detail panel On/Off icon .

Video tutorial: Sharpen an image

Reduce image noise

Image noise is extraneous visible artifacts that degrade image quality. Image noise includes luminance (grayscale) noise, which makes an image look grainy, and chroma (color) noise, which is usually visible as colored artifacts in the image. Photos taken with high ISO speeds or less-sophisticated digital cameras can have noticeable noise.

Lightroom Reduce Image Noise
Moving the Color slider to the right reduces chroma noise (lower right). Notice fewer color pixels compared to the original (upper right).

  1. (Optional) Zoom in on the photo to at least 1:1 to better see image noise and the effects of the sliders.
  2. Drag the 1:1 image preview in the Detail panel of the Develop module to see the area of the photo that looks grainy or displays colored artifacts.
  3. In the Noise Reduction area of the Detail panel, adjust any of the sliders. The first three sliders affect luminance noise. The last two sliders affect color noise.


    Reduces luminance noise.


    Controls the luminance noise threshold. Useful for very noisy photos. Higher values preserve more detail but may produce noisier results. Lower values produce cleaner results but may also remove some detail.


    Controls luminance contrast. Useful for very noisy photos. Higher values preserve contrast but may produce noisy blotches or mottling. Lower values produce smoother results but may also have less contrast.


    Reduces color noise.


    Controls the color noise threshold. Higher values protect thin, detailed color edges but may result in color speckling. Lower values remove color speckles but may result in color bleeding.


To turn off noise reduction, set the Sharpening Amount slider to zero or click the Detail panel On/Off icon .

Video tutorial: Remove image noise in Lightroom

Correct lens distortion and adjust perspective

About lens distortion

Camera lenses can exhibit different types of defects at certain focal lengths, f-stops, and focus distances. You can correct for these apparent lens distortions using the Lens Corrections panel of the Develop module.

Vignetting causes the edges of an image, especially the corners, to be darker than the center. It is particularly noticeable when the photo contains a subject that is supposed to be an even shade or tone, such as the sky in a landscape image.

Barrel distortion causes straight lines to appear to bow outward.

Pincushion distortion causes straight lines to appear to bend inward.

Chromatic aberration Chromatic aberration appears as a color fringe along the edges of objects. It is caused by the failure of the lens to focus different colors to the same spot, aberrations in sensor microlenses, and by flare. Lightroom provides a checkbox to automatically correct blue-yellow and red-green fringes, also known as lateral chromatic aberration.

Lightroom 4.1 and later provides slider controls to correct purple/magenta and green aberration (axial chromatic aberration). Axial chromatic aberration often occurs in images made with large apertures.

Lightroom Fixing Chromatic Aberration
Original photo with blue/yellow fringing (left), and after fixing chromatic aberration (lower right).

Correct image perspective and lens flaws automatically

Video tutorial: Lens correction in Lightroom

The Profile options in the Lens Corrections panel of the Develop module correct distortions in common camera lenses. The profiles are based on Exif metadata that identifies the camera and lens that captured the photo, and the profiles compensate accordingly.

Lens profiles are saved in the following locations:

Mac OS

/Library/Application Support/Adobe/CameraRaw/LensProfiles/1.0/

Windows Vista or Windows 7



The lens profiles that are available in the Lens Corrections panel depend on whether you’re adjusting a raw or a non-raw file. For more information and a list of supported lenses, see the Adobe Support article Lens profile support.

  1. In the Lens Corrections panel of the Develop module, click Profile and select Enable Profile Corrections.
  2. To change the profile, select a different Make, Model, or Profile.


    Some cameras have only one lens, and some lenses have only one profile.

  3. Customize the correction by adjusting the Amount sliders:


    The default value 100 applies 100% of the distortion correction in the profile. Values over 100 apply greater correction to the distortion; values under 100 apply less correction to the distortion.


    The default value 100 applies 100% of the vignetting correction in the profile. Values over 100 apply greater correction to vignetting; values under 100 apply less correction to vignetting.

  4. (Optional) To apply your changes to the default profile, click Setup and choose Save New Lens Profile Defaults.

Correct chromatic aberration

In the Develop module Lens Correction panel, click Color to display the chromatic aberration and defringe controls.


To get a better view of the result, zoom in on the image area that shows the aberration.

For more details about color aberration and how to remove it, see New Color Fringe Correction Controls in the Lightroom Journal.

Remove red-green and blue-yellow color shifts

  • Select the Remove Chromatic Aberration checkbox.

Remove global purple and green fringes with the eyedropper

  1. Click the eyedropper tool in the Color Corrections Color panel.
  2. Press the spacebar to pan and zoom into the fringe area. (Setting your default zoom to 2:1 or 4:1 helps you view the fringe colors.)
  3. Click purple and green fringe colors.

    The sliders are automatically adjusted for that color. If you click a color outside of the purple or green hue ranges, you’ll see an error message.


    The end of the eyedropper will change to purple or green if the color under the eyedropper is within the purple or green hue ranges.

Remove global purple/magenta and green fringes

  • Adjust the purple and green Amount slider. The higher the amount, the more color defringing.

Take care not apply an adjustment that affects purple or green objects in your image.

You can adjust the purple or green hue range affected by the Amount slider using the Purple Hue and the Green Hue sliders. Drag either end point control to expand or decrease the range of affected colors. Drag between the end point controls to move the hue range. The minimum space between end points is 10 units. The default spacing for the green sliders is narrow to protect green/yellow image colors, like foliage.


You can protect edges of purple and green objects using local adjustment brush. See Remove local color fringes.

Press the Alt/Option key as you drag any of the sliders to help visualize the adjustment. The fringe color becomes neutral as you drag to remove the color.

Remove local color fringes

Local brush and gradient adjustments remove fringes of all colors.


For best results, perform any Transform lens corrections before applying local color fringe adjustments.

  1. Select the brush or gradient tools and drag in the image. See Apply local adjustments.
  2. Adjust the Defringe slider. A plus value removes the color fringe. Minus values protect image areas from defringing that you apply globally. Minus 100 protects the area from any defringing. For example, applying a strong global purple defringe may desaturate or alter edges of purple objects in your image. Painting with Defringe -100 over those areas will protect them and keep them at their original color.


Local defringe is available for Process 2012 only.

Correct image perspective and lens flaws manually

Transform and vignette corrections can be applied to original and cropped photo edges. Lens vignettes adjust exposure values to brighten dark corners.

  1. In the Lens Corrections panel, click Manual.
  2. Under Transform, adjust any of the following:


    Drag to the right to correct barrel distortion and straighten lines that bend away from the center. Drag to the left to correct pincushion distortion and straighten lines that bend toward the center.


    corrects perspective caused by tilting the camera up or down. Makes vertical lines appear parallel.


    Corrects perspective caused by angling the camera left or right. Makes horizontal lines parallel.


    Corrects for camera tilt. Uses the center of the original, uncropped photo as the axis of rotation.


    Adjusts the image scale up or down. Helps to remove empty areas caused by perspective corrections and distortions. Displays areas of the image that extend beyond the crop boundary.

    Constrain crop

    Constrains the crop to the image area so that gray border pixels are not included in the final photo.

  3. Under Lens Vignetting adjust either or both of the following:


    Move the Amount slider to the right (positive values) to lighten the corners of the photo. Move the slider to the left (negative values) to darken the corners of the photo.


    Drag the Midpoint slider to the left (lower value) to apply the Amount adjustment to a larger area away from the corners. Drag the slider to the right (higher value) to restrict the adjustment to an area closer to the corners.

Vignette, grain, and dehaze effects

Apply a postcrop vignette

To apply a dark or light vignette for artistic effect to a photo, use the Post-Crop Vignetting options in the Effects panel. A postcrop vignette can be applied to a cropped or uncropped photo.

Lightroom postcrop vignette styles adaptively adjust the exposure of the cropped image, preserving the original image contrast and creating a more visually pleasing effect.

  1. In the Post-Crop Vignetting area of the Effects panel of the Develop module, choose an option from the Style menu:

    Highlight Priority

    Enables highlight recovery but can lead to color shifts in darkened areas of a photo. Suitable for photos with bright image areas such as clipped specular highlights.

    Color Priority

    Minimizes color shifts in darkened areas of a photo but cannot perform highlight recovery.

    Paint Overlay

    Mixes the cropped image values with black or white pixels. Can result in a flat appearance.

  2. Adjust the sliders:


    Negative values darken the corners of the photo. Positive values lighten the corners.


    Lower values apply the Amount adjustment to a larger area away from the corners. Higher values restrict the adjustment to an area closer to the corners.


    Lower values make the vignette effect more oval. Higher values make the vignette effect more circular.


    Lower values reduce softening between the vignette and the vignette’s surrounding pixels. Higher values increase the softening.


    (Highlight Priority and Color Priority only) Controls the degree of highlight contrast preserved when Amount is negative. Suitable for photos with small highlights, such as candles and lamps.

Simulate film grain

The Grain section of the Effects panel has controls for creating a stylistic effect reminiscent of particular film stocks. You can also use the Grain effect to mask resampling artifacts.

Together, the Size and Roughness controls determine the character of the grain. Check grain at varying zoom levels to ensure that the character appears as desired.

Lightroom Simulate film grain
No grain applied (top); grain applied (bottom).


Controls the amount of grain applied to the image. Drag to the right to increase the amount. Set to zero to disable grain.


Controls grain particle size. At sizes of 25 or greater, blue is added to make the effect look better with noise reduction.


Controls the regularity of the grain. Drag to the left to make the grain more uniform; drag to the right to make the grain more uneven.



This feature is available only in Lightroom CC 2015.1

Lightoom now lets you easily decrease or increase the amount of haze or fog in a photograph. Once you have made basic adjustments to the photograph, switch to the Effects panel of the Develop module and adjust the Dehaze slider control.

Lightroom Dehaze
Reduce the amount of haze or fog in a photograph


Controls the amount of haze in a photograph. Drag to the right to remove haze; drag to the left to add haze.

Note: Dehaze is now available as a local adjustment. While working with the Radial Filter, Graduated Filter, or the Adjustment Brush, adjust the Dehaze slider control. For more information, see Apply local adjustments and Use the Radial Filter tool.

Lightroom Dehaze as a local adjustment
Dehaze as a local adjustment

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