Travel Tuesday: Correcting Perspective

Wide angle lenses are great for architectural photography but can create the “falling over” building effect that doesn’t always recreate the look produced by a view camera or a Tilt-Shift lens or Perspective Control lenses. These lenses can eliminate the “falling over” building look and can, depending on building being photographed, duplicate what you can do with a view camera. But it doesn’t come cheap. A Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II Tilt-Shift Lens costs $1,999 and a Nikon PC-E 24mm f/2.5 is in the same ballpark. That’s fine and dandy if you make your living as an architectural photographer but what if you just do it for fun and only from time to time?

The 300 year old church of San Filepe de Neri in Old Town Albuquerque was photographed using an Olympus E-P3 and a 12mm f/2.0 lens (24mm equivalent) and there is some perspective distortion due to the 82 degree angle-of-view and how I had the camera titled. This doesn’t bother some people and if that’s you, just bail from this page and look at another post. If is pothers you, here’s a quick and easy way to fix it in Adobe Photoshop.

Step 1: Open the file and chose Select > All to select the entire image. Drag a guide line out from the side by making sure Rulers are shown and just drag and grab and place a blue line to guide you in making corrections.

Step 2. Chose Edit > Transform > Perspective that will place handles (a little box) in each corner. Drag one of the top handles straight out and watch the lines in the building start to “correct themselves. You can do this by “eye” or by using one of the guide lines I suggest you drag onto the images.

Step 3: Select Image > Crop and you’re finished. San Filepe de Neri

Something is always lost in correcting the perspective and if you know you’re going to correct perspective you might plan ahead and include some extra material on the sides that will later be cropped when the image is corrected. I finished the image buy tweaking in using the Polarizing filter Nik Analog Efex.

Author: Joe Farace

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