Photoshop Artist in Action: Tim Grey's Photo Optimization Techniques
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Video: Straightening the image

I'm pretty happy with the way this image turned out right out of the camera. With some basic adjustments in Adobe Camera Raw I think I'm off to a great start. But I would like to straighten the image out a little bit and that's a little bit tricky actually in this case because of the way the crates are sitting, the bottom crate seems to be leaning to the left a little bit. The next one up seems to lean maybe to the right just a hair. And the top one seems pretty straight. But let's take a look with a crop and rotation, at how we can improve the overall appearance. I think I'm going to focus most of my attention on this lower slat of the crate at the bottom, because that to me is sort of a foundational element.

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Watch the Online Video Course Photoshop Artist in Action: Tim Grey's Photo Optimization Techniques
1h 59m Intermediate Jul 05, 2013

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In this course Tim Grey takes a unique approach to teaching you to optimize your images in Photoshop. Rather than focusing on a particular "category" of adjustments, or being organized strictly by topic, this course will concentrate on specific images. Work along with Tim as he examines each image, sets goals for the final result, and optimizes the image based on those goals. Along the way you'll gain insights into tonal and color adjustments, image cleanup techniques, creative effects, and much more.

Topics include:
  • RAW conversion and processing
  • Spot removal
  • Cropping and straightening
  • Adding local contrast
  • Black-and-white conversion
  • Correcting perspective with Transform
  • Enhancing detail with High Pass
  • Applying HDR tone-mapping
  • Adding a custom vignette
Subjects:
Photography video2brain
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Tim Grey

Straightening the image

I'm pretty happy with the way this image turned out right out of the camera. With some basic adjustments in Adobe Camera Raw I think I'm off to a great start. But I would like to straighten the image out a little bit and that's a little bit tricky actually in this case because of the way the crates are sitting, the bottom crate seems to be leaning to the left a little bit. The next one up seems to lean maybe to the right just a hair. And the top one seems pretty straight. But let's take a look with a crop and rotation, at how we can improve the overall appearance. I think I'm going to focus most of my attention on this lower slat of the crate at the bottom, because that to me is sort of a foundational element.

It's the object that catches my eye when I think about whether or not this image is really straight. So I'll choose the Crop Tool from the toolbar. And then I'll use the straighten options from the Options bar. I'll go ahead then and click and drag along the left edge of this vertical slat. And then when I release the mouse, making sure before I do that the line here perfectly matches the slat, the image will be rotated so that that line is now perfectly vertical. The corners of the crop will also be brought in. Inside the image and so now I can sort of take a step back and think about whether or not I'm happy with that result.

And I think that will work pretty well. The slat over on the right here of the second crate is certainly leaning to the right but with the other lines in the image I think that's working out pretty well. And it certainly seems to me that the overall cobbles in the background are not causing any problems in terms of the perspective relative to whether it's a straight image. So, I think that will work out pretty well for this photo. I could always recover these pixels later of course because I'm going to keep the delete. Cropped Pixels check box on the Options bar turned off.

So later if I decide I want to bring back those pixels that I've cropped, I can simply choose Image > Reveal All from the menu and that will expand the canvas to reveal those pixels. but at this point I think I have a good crop applied. So I'll go ahead and click the apply button, the check mark icon on the icons bar. I could also double click inside the crop box or press enter or return on the keyboard to apply that crop. But now, I have an image that is straighten out, I think. And, again, I think the reference line is most important that is sort of a central element in the image, obviously, down toward the bottom but central in terms of our focus for evaluating whether that image is straight. And so, I think now we have a better starting point for this photo.

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