As we all know, photoshop is an incredible, endless and bottomless software tool. I’ve been to one-day seminars and they’re really fun, but a great deal of what I learn is pretty much gone on the way home because it’s not part of my normal image processing routine. For a technique to stick with me, it has to be a useable technique in my normal workflow. I’ve been living with image key-stoning (converging lines when pointing upwards) since I first began photographing. As many of you know, when pointing upwards with a wide-angle lens, there is distortion. Sometimes, it’s a really cool thing and adds to the drama. And sometimes it’s a real barrier to enjoying an image. For example, seeing a building falling backwards is an image problem.
Now, along comes photoshop with the "perspective" check box in the crop tool toolbar (which appears after drawing your crop box). Wow! What a great tool. As you can see from the before and after examples, this is an extraordinary tool for correcting distorted perspectives. I try to get the image “right” in the finder, which is always my first choice. When it’s “right” in the finder, my computer time is shortened. In this case, the lens I needed was the 12-24mm and I had to get down a bit low and point upwards a bit to get the composition I was visualizing. When I got everything “right,” I had distracting key-stoning. One of the great advantages of pre-visualization in the digital age is that along with pre-visualizing the image, we can also pre-visualize the image after using a software tool to modify an otherwise problematic image.
I wouldn’t have taken this image or would have found a compromise composition had I not been aware of the "perspective" check box on the crop tool toolbar.
After using the perspective crop tool: