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Photoshop CS5 for Photographers provides comprehensive Photoshop training targeting the needs of photographers. In this course, author Chris Orwig demonstrates the fundamental skills used to enhance digital photos, including managing and correcting color, sharpening, making selections and adjustments, retouching, and printing from Photoshop. In addition to teaching the techniques that enable photographers to refine and publish their photos, the course includes live-action segments that encourage thinking photographically and shooting with Photoshop’s capabilities in mind. Exercise files are included with the course.
Let's take a look at how we can deal with a common occurrence in photography, and that is Distortion. Now, while I like this image, I like the natural light and I like the architecture here, one of the things I noticed is that the image just looks a little bit off. Well, one of the ways that you can begin to identify distortion is by pressing a shortcut in order to turn on the grid. You can do so by pressing Command for Mac, Control for Windows and then the apostrophe key. This will then turn on the showing of the grid. Now when I have this grid on top of the image, I can see clearly that this particular door here is not straight. Rather it's a little bit bent.
We also notice that this top beam isn't straight. Rather the whole image is leaning a little bit one-way and then over here, we can see a little bit of distortion as well. All right. Well now that we've seen this distortion, let's take a look at how we can fix this. First, let's turn off this Grid View by pressing Command+Apostrophe or Ctrl+Apostrophe. Next, let's copy our Background layer. We can do so by pressing Command+J or Ctrl+J. We will go ahead and name this new layer lens for Lens Correction. That's where we are going to go first. We're going to go navigate to our Filter pulldown menu.
Then we're going to select Lens Correction. Now in this dialog, there are a couple of different ways that we can use it. We can have it auto-determine the type of camera that we used, or we can go in and do what's called a Custom Lens Correction. That's what we are going to do here. So, let's go ahead and click on the Custom tab. Now once we do that, you'll notice that we have a number of different controls. Now these controls allow us to do quite a bit. Yeah, for the intent of this movie, let's focus in on Distortion and also a little bit on Perspective and Angle. One of the things that you can see here is that we're able to remove distortion.
If I click and drag to the left, I am going to add distortion. That doesn't look good. Click and drag to the right. I am going to remove distortion. Well, how then can we find the sweet spot for this where this will actually look good? Well, one of the things that you can do is you can also show a grid here as well. Click on that icon. Again, that will help you pay attention to these lines and how those aren't quite straight. One of the things I want to do first before I actually work on my Distortion is I want to correct the angle of this image. We can see here, it's leaning off a little bit. So you can down to this Angle Control here, and you can click and drag in this wheel.
Yet it's a little bit finicky, meaning it's going to make movements that are too big. We can see that here, and it's kind of tough to find the right movement. But if you hover over the word Angle, you will get those scrubby sliders. Here we can click and drag. In this case, I am just going to click and drag to the left, and I'm just looking, try to straighten this out a little bit, and I am paying attention to this top beam up here. I think that looks actually much better. If ever we want to see our before- and-after, we will press the P key. Here is before, and now here is after. All right. Well so far so good.
Next, let's work on our Distortion. Same thing. We can grab the slider or if we want a little bit more fine-tuned controls, hover over the word Remove Distortion and click and drag. It's going to make this adjustment in a little bit finer increment. What I am going to do here is I am going to swing this one way and then another trying to find just the right spot for this. Now it's not going to be perfect, but I think it is going to be better. Let's take a look at how this is working. I will press the P key. There is my before and now my after.
As far as the way I am seeing this image, it's aligning up much more on the grid and for the most part this is looking nice. Now we could try to swing this perhaps a little bit more, but the trick is as once we do this too much, if we go ahead and add a little bit more, we're then at the risk of adding some distortion in the other direction. So we just want to be careful and pay attention to all of the different aspects of the photograph. We also want to try to determine what angles are going to be most important. All right. Well so far so good. I think we are doing a decent job.
I am going to click into that angle, and I am just going to go ahead and click and drag that to the left a little bit more here. And all that I'm interested in doing is trying to fine-tune this, so that it looks a little bit better. All right. Well let's click OK in order to apply that. Now back in Photoshop, what we are going to need to do is obviously crop the image. So we will go ahead and select the Crop tool. Click and drag to extend that. If you hold down the Shift key you'll notice you will constrain the proportions, and you can do that if those proportions are important for the image. So, again I am just going to hold down the Shift key and then click and drag and get this just right here and let's reposition that and what I'm interested in doing again is just trying to have a nice crop.
We can of course also do a little bit more of a free-form crop if we want to have more of the image visible. All right. Well I think that's pretty good. We'll press Enter or Return in order to apply that. Let's take a look at the before and after. Here we have before and then after our Custom Lens Correction, we have the after. So one of the things that you will discover as you work more with Lens Correction is that in certain situations you may need to crop into the image as we've done so here. Well, just keep that in mind when you're shooting and therefore when you're shooting, give yourself a little bit of extra space.
In other words compose the image and then just open up just a little bit more so you have some surrounding space, so that if you need to, you have space in order to be able to crop the image.
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