3 easy ways to fix perspective in Photoshop | Lesson | Photo, video, optics


Perspective in photography is a technique that conveys a sense of space, “air” in the picture. If the perspective is good, the photo seems voluminous. We easily read the foreground, middle and distant plans, and what is depicted in the picture, as it were, “goes into the distance”.

The correct perspective makes the picture more effective and realistic. But when using specific optics (such as an ultra-wide angle lens), inappropriate shooting angle or camera distance to the subject, the lines in the photo may be distorted. For example, the building begins to “fall over” on the viewer or, on the contrary, implausibly narrows upwards, and the body of the model is disproportionately stretched.

Due to the specifics of the location, photographic equipment or shooting conditions, it is not always possible to correct camera perspective distortions simply by reframing the frame. That’s why we’ve put together three easy ways for you to quickly fix perspective in Photoshop.

In the photo on the left, the building is “falling over” backwards, trying to narrow at the top point / Illustration: Elizaveta Lentchevicha, Photosklad.Expert

How to fix perspective in Adobe Camera Raw

Adobe Camera Raw or ACR is a program for converting RAW photos in Photoshop. It automatically opens when you transfer RAW images to processing in Photoshop. Already here you can quickly and correctly correct the perspective in the photo. It’s also handy if you’re processing a reportage or shoot that you don’t plan on retouching further in Photoshop.

Correcting the perspective of a RAW file in ACR

1. Open a RAW image in Adobe Camera Raw.

To do this, just pick up the selected file and drag it onto the window of the already open Photoshop. The second option is to go to the menu File / File and choose a team Openor press hot keys Ctrl+O.

Transform Tool in CC 2020 / Illustration: Elizaveta Lentchevicha, Photostore.Expert

The photo will then automatically open in ACR.

2. On the top panel of ACR, find the Tool Transform / Transform Tool. In Photoshop CC 2022, the tool is called Geometry / Geometry and is listed on the right. You can quickly activate the tool by pressing the keys Shift+T.

Tool Geometry / Geometry in Photoshop CC 2022 / Illustration: Elizaveta Lentchevicha, Photostore.Expert

Tool Geometry / Geometry or Transformation / Transform in Adobe Camera RAW

Toolbar Transformation/Geometry / Illustration: Elizaveta Lentchevicha, Photostore.Expert

The tool consists of two parts:

  • Alignment Modes

These are the five grids on which the perspective is corrected:

1. Auto. The program itself corrects the perspective.
2. Level. Corrects perspective along horizontal guides.
3. Vertical. Applies both level and vertical perspective corrections.
4. Max. Corrects perspective both vertically and horizontally.
5. Guides. You can draw vertical and horizontal lines yourself, along which the correction will take place.

There are no universal recommendations for these modes — for each specific photo, a different option may be suitable.

  • Sliders on which the perspective can be corrected independently.

You can apply them after alignment modes or instead of them.

6. Vertical alignment
7. Horizontal alignment
8. Rotate the canvas
9. Change aspect ratio
10. Scale. You can apply it if the image has decreased as a result of corrections and empty areas have appeared on the canvas.
11. Shift X and Shift Y. The sliders allow you to move the image left and right, as well as up and down. These adjustments may also be needed if empty areas appear on the canvas.

  • Additional tool buttons:

12. Undo all transformation
13. Grid. Create a frequent grid, which is convenient to manually adjust the perspective.

How to fix jpeg photo perspective in ACR

Any JPEG can be opened in ACR. Here’s how to do it:

1. Open the desired JPEG in Photoshop.
2. Duplicate the layer. To do this, right-click and select the command Duplicate layer or press hot key Ctrl+J.
3. Click on the resulting copy. Then go to the menu FilterCamera Raw filter.

Be sure to keep track of which layer you are on. It is important that the original always remain intact / Illustration: Elizaveta Lentchevicha, Photostore.Expert

4. Go to tool Transformation (in Photoshop CC 2022 — Geometry).
5. After correcting the perspective, click done or Enter. ACR will close and the changes will be applied to the copy of the layer.

Lens Correction filter

Correcting perspective in Photoshop is possible without switching to the ACR filter. For this you can use the function Lens Correctionwhich corrects lens distortion.

1. Open the file in Photoshop.
2. Go to the menu Filter / Filtr — Lens Correction / Lens Correction.
3. The filter has tools for automatic correction, but we are interested in the tab Custom / Custom.
4. Find the block at the bottom Perspective / Transform and sliders Vertical Perspective and Horizontally / Horizontal Perspective.

If you turn on the grid, it will become easier to align the perspective / Illustration: Elizaveta Chechevitsa, Photosklad.Expert

In addition to the perspective in the filter Lens Correction you can remove chromatic aberration, vignette, and geometric distortion that occurs due to lens design.

Free Transform Tool

The tool is suitable for correcting the perspective of the entire image, and for correcting individual layers if you are making a collage. The principles of operation are the same in both cases.

1. Open the file and duplicate the layer (Ctrl+J).
2. Left-click on the created copy of the layer to select it.
3. Go to the menu Editing / Edit — Free Transform / Free Transform.

Press the hot keys Ctrl + T to enable the Free Transform function without going to the program menu / Illustration: Elizaveta Lentchevicha, Photostore.Expert

A frame will appear around the image. Now you can move the duplicate layer, stretch it, reduce it, and correct the perspective.

4. To use Free Transform in Photoshop to correct perspective, right-click. Find the button in the drop down menu. Perspective.

Experiment! In some situations, the Distortion / Distrort / Illustration: Elizaveta Lentchevicha, Fotosklad.Expert

5. Move the image by grabbing the corners with the left mouse button to correct the perspective.

It is absolutely normal that after correcting the perspective, the canvas changes so that the picture needs to be cropped. It changes in size and because of this, the original layer becomes visible, as in this illustration / Illustration: Elizaveta Lentchevicha, Photostore.Expert

To make perspective alignment easier, go to the menu View / View — Show / Show — Grid / Greed. After that, a fine grid with horizontal and vertical guides will appear on the photo.

Now it’s enough to match the vertical or horizontal lines of the photo with the vertical or horizontal grid lines. After correction go to View / View — Show / Show — Grid / Greedto disable guides.

Read also:

Camera Raw Features You Didn’t Know About

Curves guide: how to edit a photo with the most powerful tool in Photoshop


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