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Madeira is popular with tourists and is known as the Island of Flowers. The mountains rise steeply from the sea. A well-known viewpoint on the south coast is the Cabo Girão Skywalk. Many find it scary to enter the glass floor. After the first steps you look steeply down 580 meters to the sea.

In this edit we'll use the transform tool in Lightroom and take a trip to Photoshop.

Which steps will we take?
1. The gridlines will be straightened with the transform tool
2. The sun reflection in the upper right corner should be countered
3. The ugly shoes are to disappear

Basic Start

The workflow is started by selecting the image and switch to the Develop tab. In the Basic panel click the Auto button. Here Lightroom examines the image and proposes a set of values. The changes are subtle. We could make slight improvements. But the emphasis in this workflow is laid on the next chapter.

Basic Start

1. Transform the gridlines

It’s time to scroll down at the right to the Transform panel. Here you can perform lots of transformation operations with sliders. The magic however occurs with the Guided Upright Tool. Click on the grid icon at the upper left. Now we are going to straighten the vertical and horizontal lines into a grid.

Hovering over the image the mouse pointer changes into a drawing square. First draw with a pressed mouse button a vertical line along the glass divider at the left side. Then release the mouse button. Nothing happens. This is understandable, because the upright tool needs at least two lines. Now repeat the sequence for the vertical glass divider at the right side. You can see the result: The image shows true vertical lines.

But the horizontal dividers still sink to the right. Can you imagine how we are going to solve this issue? Yes! You repeat the magic with two horizontal lines. With each line drawing the grid changes!

Transform Grid Lines

Aren’t you satisfied with one of the drawn lines? Just click on the node of a line, keep the button pressed and move the line into the desired direction. Are you satisfied? Click again on the Guided Upright Tool button and the changes are saved. Try to imagine how architecture photographers had to cope with falling lines in the past. An expensive tilt-shift lens and some time was needed to straighten the lines in real-time. Nowadays it’s a matter of just a few mouse actions!

The edit is not yet complete. The upper horizontal glass divider is disturbing and the image is better off, when the left and right parts are symmetric. Now turn to the Crop Overlay Tool. It’s the second icon in the unnamed panel just below the Histogram.

Crop Overlay Tool

The closed lock means, that the original dimensions will be maintained. Since the lower left corner will remain fixed, we will use the upper right handle to crop the photo. Click here, keep the mouse button pressed and move the handle to such an extent, that the left and right parts are symmetric. Automatically upper horizontal glass divider has disappeared.

Cropping Grid

To save the crop changes click again on the Crop Overlay button

2. Sun reflection

The sun reflection is a bit annoying. It can be diminished by lowering the Exposure. For this purpose the Linear Gradient Masking is suitable. In the unnamed panel below the Histogram click on the most right symbol: Masking. Then select the Linear Gradient option. Now a Masks Panel appears. Make sure, that the Show Overlay option is ticked. Point the mouse in the image just left off the Masks Panel, keep the mouse pressed and move it 30% towards the lower left corner. With lines and a red diminishing overlay the mask area is identified. Linear Gradient Mask

The first change in the Mask 1 panel is to set the Exposure to a value of -2,40. Then to regain color in the darkened area give the Saturation a maximum boost to 100. Now click on the Masking symbol to save the edits.

3. The shoes disappear in Photoshop

Lightroom is the platform for most of the workflows. For tweaking and tricks we make a side step to Photoshop. How to change the editing to Photoshop and guide the image back to Lightroom is described in the box below.

So the aim is to have the ugly photographer’s shoes removed with a replacement fill. In Photoshop for marking the area the Lasso Tool is most appropriate. Right click on the third icon in the left and select the Lasso Tool. Now with a pressed mouse button draw a line around the shoes.

Generative Fill

A small panel has appeared below the image. Start the magic with a click on Generative Fill and consequently on Generate. The latest AI addition to Photoshop will generate 3 options to choose from. Although the fill is not perfect, we select the third option. In the layer panel (right below) the changes are saved in a separate layer.

Do you want to practice another fill? At the right in the middle there’s a shadow, that needs care. First make sure to click in the Layers panel on the Background layer to return to the basic layer. Then draw with the now well-known Lasso Tool a selection around the shadow area. We could apply a generative fill again, but it’s practical to use an alternative method, which was the common path in previous Photoshop versions. It’s faster by the way!

Content-Aware Fill

Select the Paint Bucket icon and select from the dropdown Content-Aware Fill. Confirm with an OK in the popup Fill window. In an instance the modifications are made. Click on Deselect to remove the selection and finish the fill operation. To merge the two layers right click on one of the layers and select Flatten Image.

So we’re ready with editing. Have a look again at the box Switching between Lightroom and Photoshop. Save the image and transport it back to Lightroom. In the Library the result is visible in the form of a TIFF file. Take the opportunity to edit the Metadata and add Keywords. Then Export the file for publication to a JPG format.

Final Result

It was a tough challenge to peek 580 meters into the deep at this marvellous spot in Madeira. Thanks for taking your time to examine and practice this workflow!

This photo was captured with a smartphone. Although equipped with a photo app with Pro and RAW capabilities, our tourist visit was so short, that I had to rush and took the photo in jpg format. By the way: a visit to Madeira can be fully recommended!
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