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Sometimes despite your very best efforts, you may end up with a crooked photo. For example, a crooked horizon or a building that's leaning one way or the other. Fortunately, that's very easy to fix with Photoshop Elements. The Crop tool enables us to both crop and rotate in one basic step. With this photo, there are actually two problems I'd like to solve. The first is obviously that the horizon is not straight. It's a little lower on the left and a little higher on the right.
So I want to correct that. I also find that the wave peeking just behind the corner here of the rock, is a little bit distracting. So I think I'd like to crop that out of the frame all together. In many cases when there's a blemish near the edge of a photo, the easiest solution is to simply crop. Let's take a look at how we can crop and rotate all at once with the Crop tool. I'll go ahead and choose the Crop tool form the toolbox, and then I'll click and drag across the image in order to define a basic crop box. I don't need to worry about being too precise at this point, because I'll be able to fine tune the cropping as I work.
To help me straighten that horizon, I'm going to drag the top edge of the crop box down near the horizon. Obviously if this had been a flagpole, a building or some other vertical object, then I might drag the left or right side inward to align with that object. But in this case my concern is that horizon. So I'll drag the top bar down. I can then move my mouse outside the crop box, and click and drag to rotate the crop box. What I want to do is rotate the crop box in such a way that it is perfectly parallel with the horizon. As I start to fine tune things, I can bring the top edge down a little bit closer to the horizon.
I don't want to overlap with the horizon because then it will obscure my view. Rather I just want the two lines to be very close, the horizon and my crop box, so I can better evaluate when those lines are perfectly parallel. Continue fine tuning here, and that looks to be a good result there. Now that I've adjusted the rotation, I can fine tune the overall crop. When I apply the crop, anything outside of my crop box will be removed from the photo. So generally, I want to expand the size of the crop box to maximize it's size, to include as much of the photo as possible. I want to make sure that all four corners remain inside the image so that I don't end up with extra area outside the actual photo.
I'll start off with the left edge since I want to remove that wave from the edge of the frame. So I'll drag the left edge inward just a little bit. And that looks much better, now I don't have that distracting wave in way. I'll then try to include as much of the rock in the foreground as possible, so I'll drag the bottom of the crop box downward. And then I'll drag the right edge further over to the right just to the edge of the image, making sure that in this case the bottom right corner of the crop box does not go outside of the photo. And I don't need to worry too much about including a lot of sky in this case I think, but I will expand the crop box just a little. That looks to be a good effect.
I've rotated the crop so that the horizon will be straight once I apply the crop. And I've adjusted the overall boundaries of the crop, most specifically to remove an area from the left side of the image that I wasn't too crazy about. So now I think I'm in good shape, I'll go ahead and click the green Checkmark button at the bottom left corner of the crop box in order to apply that crop. And as you can see, the image is both cropped and rotated in one step producing a much better result.
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