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In Photoshop CS6 for Photographers, author, photographer, and teacher Chris Orwig explores Photoshop from the perspective of the photographer.
The course details the features and techniques behind enhancing and retouching photos, preparing them for print and online publishing, and much more. Chris demonstrates how to make basic edits in Camera Raw, develop and save color profiles, work with layers and selections, tone and sharpen, and retouch images while retaining their natural character.
Chris also shares some creative tips and project ideas, such as converting a photo to black-and-white and enhancing a portrait with hand-painted masks. The course also covers workflow details, such as organizing images in Bridge and Mini Bridge, optimizing Photoshop preferences, and calibrating your monitor.
Here we are going to take a look at how we can use the Lens Correction Filter in order to correct some common distortion that happens when we're photographing say with wider angle lenses or when we're in smaller spaces like this. And with this architectural photograph, you may notice that it's leaning a little bit to the right and there is a little bit of a slight band, there is some barrel distortion. Well let's fix this, or at least let's correct this a little bit by working with Lens Correction. To do that you first want to copy your background layer so that you have a duplicate version of this, because these adjustments will be so strong, if we make a mistake, well we want to have that background to go back to.
Next let's go ahead and rename this layer, we'll call this corrections. Next let's navigate to the Filter pull- down menu then let's choose Lens Correction. The Lens Correction dialog allows you to make Auto or Custom Corrections, and let's start off by working with Custom. Here though in the Auto tab make sure Auto Scale is turned on, this will then crop the image as you make these corrections. Next we'll click on Custom. In the Custom tab we have the ability to make Geometric Distortion corrections, fix Chromatic Aberration, Vignetting, and also make other transformations.
Well here I want to start off with my Geometric Distortions. What we can do here is we can click-and-drag this either to increase or decrease the different types of distortion. Yet if you move too far you can introduce another type of distortion. In order to try to analyze what's wrong with the image so, what you might want to do is rather than just move these sliders; you may want to turn on the Grid. You can do that by clicking on this icon here. You can also change this overall Grid Size and sometimes by having a different Grid Size that can help you see the different lines in your photograph.
If you click on this icon, it then allows you to move that Grid around so that you can then line this up, say along the edge of this door here. You notice that it bends in, or we can move this up near the top of the image so that this line is lined up with this beam, and again there is some lean to the right and also some bend. Well now that we've seen that we could then use these controls. If you use this main slider you can make really big adjustments, really huge. Yet, if you want to make more subtle what you can do, is you can hover over the name of the adjustment and use the scrubby sliders.
That icon, the finger with the two arrows allows you to make these really small incremental adjustments. Now what we are going to need to do here is of course remove this distortion by increasing this amount. We also need to rotate the image a little bit. So let's do that by going down to Angle and clicking-and-dragging here, or another way that we can do this, rather than clicking-and-dragging is you can use this Straighten tool. By using this tool, you can click-and-drag along something that you think should be straight. In this case we could click-and-drag along the top of this wall behind the bed here and that would then straighten that out.
As you do that you may also though need to go into this tool to make any needed subtle adjustments in order to try to get things straightened out as much as you can. And here I am just modifying this a little bit to try to get those lines straightened up there. All right, well next we can go back to our distortion and here we want to experiment a little bit with how much of this distortion we can remove. Because the trick is, we're not going to get this perfect, but we can make this better. Well let's turn off this grid and let's evaluate our progress. Press the P key, that turns on the Preview on and then off, and this Preview is showing me that this image is indeed looking better.
Now as you make these changes you can also go back to Auto Correction and turn off Auto Scale. And what that will do is it will open up these gaps here above and below the photograph. Sometimes you may want to have those gaps visible so that you can then crop this image yourself or maybe even fill in those gaps. Let me show you what I mean. Well here we'll go ahead and click OK in order to apply these adjustments. Now if we turn off the Background layer, we can see that we have these gaps in these different areas.
Filling in these gaps is a little bit tricky and it won't always work well, yet a few might. You can choose one of your selection tools, say like the Magic Wand and you can then click on one of the gaps like this one here. Next, you need to increase the size a little bit by navigating to select and choosing Modify and then Expand. This will then give you the ability to expand this, let's just expand this by two or maybe three pixels and it just will make that selection a bit bigger. Well now that we've done that, what we can then do is fill this in with an adjustment which we've seen in one of our previous chapters.
It's called Content Aware Fill. In order to access that, we can use a shortcut. The shortcut is Shift+F5 that will open up the dialog, we can then select Content-Aware there and then click OK. And what this will do here, in this case if we go ahead and deselect, is it will attempt to try to fill in this area and it did a decent job. We could also go in with some of our other tools and do some cloning or clean up those edges. Let's try this edge down below as well. We can select that, go to our Select pull-down menu and then choose Modify and Expand.
You almost always need to expand the selection a little bit and then press Shift+F5 and then click OK. And again what it will try to do is kind of build out this selection for us. This isn't perfect; it doesn't work great all the time. Especially like with this top area of the photograph, if we select this and use the same technique, what we'll discover is that it's not going to look very good. It's going to work hard to try to make this right, but there's just too large of an area, so we can see that there are some problematic areas.
Yet that being said, sometimes this can be a great way to fill in certain gaps in your photograph. Either way, after you've filled in those gaps and maybe you've retouched them with some of the cloning or healing tools, what you'll need to do next is to crop. So let's access the Crop tool, and with the Crop tool I'll go ahead and hold down the Shift key to constrain the proportions, that just make sure I have the same aspect ratio as before, and then we can click and reposition the image in that crop area. If it's kind of clicking around here or snapping around, you can use your arrow keys.
This is a great way to subtly kind of move this image around, so that it fits inside of that crop area. And here, just pressing the Spacebar key, making sure all of my edges look nice and I think that's pretty good. Next press Enter or Return in order to apply that crop and then we can evaluate our overall progress by looking at our before and after. Well here it is, here's the before tilted and some barrel distortion and then after, after we've corrected that rotation and also removed some of the distortion.
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