Photography involves tinkering with your images from time to time. Post-production editing software, such as Adobe Lightroom, is a great choice to play around with to create the best image possible.
By rotating, flipping or straightening an image, you can turn an ok image into something better. This is something you might want to do before playing around with adjustments such as exposure.
How to Rotate an Image in Lightroom
There are times when your camera doesn’t correctly present you with an image the right way up. This is especially the case when you use your phone is upside down manners to capture shots.
The image was shot normally, yet we imagined that by simply rotating the shot, we could change the idea of the scene.
This is the original image.
And this is the image rotated 90° degrees clockwise.
To rotate an image is very helpful. And luckily there are a few ways you can rotate an image both clockwise and anti-clockwise.
It’s handy to know which one is which. But after all, if you only know one, you just need to press it many times to return to the starting position.
Single Image – Right-Click
To rotate an image left (counter-clockwise) or right (clockwise) is very simple.
Select an image and Right-Click on it. You’ll see the Transform>Rotate Left/Right command.
Single Image – Toolbar
The other way to rotate your image left or right is to use the toolbar at the top.
Select your image, head over to Photo>Rotate Left/Right. That’s all there is together.
Single Image – Keyboard Shortcut
There is a faster way that only takes two presses of the keyboard.
If you press Ctrl + [, you can rotate the image counter-clockwise or left. Ctrl+], the image will rotate clockwise.
How to Rotate Multiple Images
Selecting multiple images to rotate is easy, yet ensuring they all rotate is a little tricky. Using the toolbar method will only rotate one image – the one that is selected from your complete selection.
This goes the same for the keyboard shortcut method too.
The only way you can rotate the images in one. Select the images and right-click on one as they sit in the preview area at the bottom.
How to Flip an Image in Lightroom
Flipping an image is different from rotating an image. Here, you are turning the image into a mirrored version of its self.
Like many things in Adobe Lightroom, there are a few ways you can do this.
Single Image – Tool Bar
Select an image in the Library Module.
Go to Photo>Flip Horizontally or Photo>Flip Vertically. It’s as simple as that.
Single Image – Right Click
Make sure you’re in the single view mode in Library Mode. Select an image.
Right-click on the image, head down to Transform>Flip Horizontally or Photo>Flip Vertically.
How to Flip Multiple Images
The great thing about Lightroom is that you can select multiple files and ‘batch process‘ them. This means applying the same settings across hundreds, if not more images at a time.
To flip multiple images, first, select the ones you want. Then follow the Tool Bar method. You won’t see an option for Transform>Flip Horizontally when you Right-Click on them.
Straightening an Image
You might decide that the horizon isn’t exactly straight. Or, the image is better slightly tilted.
Rotating an image will move the image exactly 90° left or right. But what if you only want 10°? Then you’ll need a different tool.
In Lightroom, you need to head over to the Develop Module. There, you’ll find the Crop Overlay tool.
Within this feature, you are able to Crop and Straighten your image. You can then rotate the image with your mouse, or through the use of a slider.
The Angle Slider inside the Crop Overlay area allows you to move 45° in either direction, clockwise or anti-clockwise.
Above the Angle Slider is an Auto button. Pressing this will rotate the image based on what Lightroom thinks is the straightest version.
Using the Mouse
When the Crop Overlay tool is selected, a grid will place itself over the image. If you mouse-over the area between the tools and the image, your mouse will turn into a curved double arrow.
Click and hold and move your mouse up and down to see how the image rotates. To know by how many degrees you are rotating the image, look at the slider for the correct number.