How to straighten a digital photograph

Use Lightroom CC or Photoshop CC to quickly straighten any image

Louisiana swamp photography

The horizon of landscape photography must be perfectly straight, and Lightroom and Photoshop offer a tool to quickly and easily ensure a crooked horizon doesn’t ruin an otherwise beautiful image.

There’s nothing that will ruin otherwise beautiful landscape photography more than crooked horizons. I mean, the horizon is supposed to be, well, horizontal. But it’s very difficult to ensure in-camera that this critical piece of the photography pie is served up correctly. Fortunately, Lightroom CC and Photoshop CC offer a very quick, very easy fix.

And the steps are the same in both programs:

  1. Select the cropping tool
  2. Click on the small ruler (to the left of “Straighten” in Photoshop and left of “Angle” in the Lightroom panel)
  3. Click and hold down the mouse button on one side of the horizon and drag along the line to be straightened.
  4. Release the mouse button
  5. Watch the image rotate to straighten the horizon perfectly.

Of course, many other photos — architectural photography, for instance — also have lines that need to be straight. So you can use the same technique to quickly make straightening any image.

NOTE: As mentioned above, the image will rotate, so there will be some cropping.

It’s as close to a one-click fix as possible. Be sure and watch this vid to see just how easy it is.


About Andy Crawford

Andy Crawford has been a photographer and writer for more than 20 years, with thousands of images and articles published in magazines and newspapers around the country. He now focuses on Louisiana photography, landscapes, HDR photography, urban prints and other fine art photography. He also is a portrait photographer.