As you work with historical or archival photos, you may notice that some of them were shot at a bit of an off angle. How do you fix these images so that it looks like there were shot straight on? In this movie, author Richard Harrington walks you through how to correct the alignment of a photo in Adobe Photoshop.
- When working with historical photos, you'll often see a bit of lean. Most of the cameras were handheld, and as such they tend to be prone to not being setup correctly, or having a bit of off-angle, but this is very easy to fix. Let's open up a picture here, and you may notice that this one is particularly canted. Well in this case, there's style, and then there is just wrong, and this one really feels like it's leaning hard to the left. Unless this was a staircase of a street that had a huge steep curve, I'm going to guess that the photo is not properly aligned.
Now, my favorite way to fix this is pretty simple. Just click on the Eyedropper, or you can press the I key to go to the Eyedropper tool, and you'll see the Ruler Tool. You can now click and drag on a horizontal or vertical line. When you do, it gives you the choice to straighten the layer, and with one click it should be straight. You can use this on any of the lines here that you'd like to.
Now depending upon the image, you might see slight changes from each angle, or you could even use a vertical line here as well, and it will compensate to try to straighten the layer. Use something that you feel is relatively straight, or should be considered straight. And with a click, it will guide you. Now, once you've done this, you're faced with some empty pixels. You can choose to crop, in this case going with the 16:9 aspect ratio, and just eating in on the image a little bit more.
But maybe that's tighter than you wanted to go. So instead of cropping, let's try filling things in. I'll press Command or Control and click on the thumbnail, and let's choose a tool other than crop. You'll see now the layer is selected. Again that's just a Command or Control click on the layer. Then choose Select, Inverse. This will choose all of the empty pixels. I suggest you expand this a little bit by choosing Select, Modify, Expand.
A value of about 10 pixels should do, and then with the layer selected, choose Edit, Fill, and the content aware option and click OK. It analyzes the pixels and it tries to come up with new ones. Now that did a really good job. In fact, the only area that bothers me is this upper right corner. It's not bad but I'm just going to grab the Clone Stamp Tool, and do a little fix here. Option + Click, let's line that up there, and just smooth that line out, and put a little bit in here as well.
There we go. Things look good along the bottom. Let's check the feet. Just a small little problem there. So we'll just extend that a little to erode some of that shadow, and the foot looks normal. Now that was quite amazing. We were able to fix the image pretty dramatically. Let's go to the History panel and make a snapshot, and you can see the original, and the fixed image. Straightening the image has removed several distracting elements, and by taking advantage of content-aware fill, I didn't really need to lose any area.
Remember, this outside area is likely at the fringe, so you can always blur it a bit, but in this case, content-aware fill was very believable and generated new pixels that were quite useful.
- Understanding resolution
- Organizing photos with Adobe Bridge
- Renaming files
- Working in the right color space
- Removing damage with the healing and cloning tools
- Making Content-Aware Scale and Fill repairs
- Controlling focus with blurring and sharpening
- Correcting alignment
- Restoring contrast with Curves and Levels
- Importing images in After Effects
- Using ease and keyframe assistants
- Adding vignettes
- Rendering animations