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Fixing distortion with the Adaptive Wide Angle filter

From: Photo Workshop: Portrait of an Exotic Car

Video: Fixing distortion with the Adaptive Wide Angle filter

This next one is fun and very photocentric, and this is this is a great image to show it. I could probably pull one of those 24 images of the car and show it to you, but this is going to work really well. I think this is a 14 -millimeter or 15 -millimeter lens. This is Adobe's Headquarters in San Jose, and it's taken with a very wide angle lens. Now I had mentioned before that we can automatically remove distortion, and chromatic aberration and vignetting. This image has a ton of distortion. The problem is we can do those things when you're on the same plane as what you're shooting, right? If I'm squared up with one I'm shooting, no problem, if I tilt the lens up, software, the camera does not capture the orientation of the lens yet. If it did, we can do some really remarkable things. It doesn't capture that information.

Fixing distortion with the Adaptive Wide Angle filter

This next one is fun and very photocentric, and this is this is a great image to show it. I could probably pull one of those 24 images of the car and show it to you, but this is going to work really well. I think this is a 14 -millimeter or 15 -millimeter lens. This is Adobe's Headquarters in San Jose, and it's taken with a very wide angle lens. Now I had mentioned before that we can automatically remove distortion, and chromatic aberration and vignetting. This image has a ton of distortion. The problem is we can do those things when you're on the same plane as what you're shooting, right? If I'm squared up with one I'm shooting, no problem, if I tilt the lens up, software, the camera does not capture the orientation of the lens yet. If it did, we can do some really remarkable things. It doesn't capture that information.

And so what happens is if I were to pass through a lens correction, the effect on the bottom is going to be totally different than the effect on the top. It's a global adjustment intended to be applied to something where it's squared up with it. So all of those odd angles we're taking with the car, lens correction works for those, but on the most extreme ones, say a really wide angle lens tilted up, it's not going to work. So let me show you guys what's going to happen. If I feed this through Lens Correction, and mind you this is an extreme example.

I feed this through Lens Correction, watch what happens. I'm losing the building on the left, the building on the right, and that plane is getting much fatter. Yeah, the tree is straight but this is not an accurate image at all. I mean there are all sorts of strange stuff happening. We just have the straight lines, but aside from that there's nothing correct about it. So what we need, because of the orientation, we need a tool that will allow the photographer to interact with the image and tell it this area is supposed to be straight, in an interactive experience.

But we also need it to be easy to use. So we came up with a new way of doing this called Adaptive Wide Angle, and as before we can read the EXIF data, nerdy term for we know what kind of camera you're using, Nikon D3S, 10.5 -millimeter lens, really wide lens. By default, we are correcting it as much as we can without knowing anything about it, and holding on to the stuff on the sides. Now where it gets interesting, we know the physical shape of the lens.

We've profiled all these lenses, we know the physical characteristics of them. So if I want that tree to be straight, I just click at the bottom, and as I pull this line around, the shape of the line is going to change depending upon where I am over the lens, right. That's how the lens is shaped. So If I come here, and I say, you were supposed to be straight, click on that it straightens it out. If I come down here, and I say, this crazy angle is supposed to be straight, that's just what it does. If I come over here, do the same thing, that's going to be straight, right here.

Right about now you guys are thinking, how many of these you have to do? Only a few of them, if you like six or seven of them at the most extreme points, and you'll be fine. But what I'm trying to show you guys here is that without a perspective correcting lens, you can get incredible results. So who is this helpful for? Anyone shooting architecture, I mean let's look at before and after. Before and after, you would have to spend thousands of dollars to get a lens that can handle that before. Anyone shooting events, I talk to a couple that are--you guys sort of shooting events and weddings.

If you shoot a wedding with a 20 -millimeter lens, the bride and all of her friends will hunt you down later, and want to talk to you because all of the people off to the side have really fat arms, right. You guys ever seen this? Oh, there arms, the guys will be like, hey! Those were great pictures, they look really good. My guns look great on those pictures. But people's arms get inflated at the edge of a wide angle image. So if you just choose an element off to the side and straighten it out, it will correct that side of it, and things will look as they should, really, really handy.

I would say anything wider than a 35 -millimeter lens is going to benefit from this. It requires a little bit of interaction, but really the workflow here is you spend most of your time in Lightroom or in Camera RAW and Bridge, you get your files as far as you can, and Photoshop is like your custom lab, it's where you take that hero shot that you're going to print out, or you're going to do something with, you're going to put it in your book, or you're going to sell it to your client. You take it the extra step, and you really refine it. That's what it's intended for. It comes from a time when we do things one image at a time.

Lightroom and Camera Raw, you can apply changes to a hundred mages really, really quickly. The idea here is to take it even further, and really go to the next level. Just to show you guys what's possible with this--I think this is pretty neat. I don't know how many of you shoot panos. I didn't shoot a pano out of the car in there, but it would have been great to just stitch together a bunch of shots, that would be an awesome shot. So if you've shot panos, you've probably seen something like this before. You have a lot of distortion. You can take your old panos and pass it through this, Adaptive Wide Angle, and it's really easy.

I'm going to do it super fast, that shouldn't be curved. This shouldn't be curved, this should not be curved, neither should this over here, right. That there shouldn't be curved, and then what you can do is you can come in here, and you can tweak the angle, and pull that back down however you want, right. I mean, you can do really amazing things to panos.

You can play around with each one these ones that we've already played around with. I can adjust the angle of those as well. So you can really take these images that tend to do this, and pull them back down to where they're supposed to be, and it's not distorting it, it's not stretching it, it's doing a really, really nice job with it. So even if you've built panos in the past, you can make them a lot better by passing it through that now.

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Photo Workshop: Portrait of an Exotic Car

12 video lessons · 8603 viewers

Bryan O'Neil Hughes
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