In this tutorial, I show how to correct a common issue in landscape photography, image distortion caused when the camera is tilted down while using a wide-angle lens.
Sweeping wide-angle landscapes with a close foreground subject and a middle ground leading to something in the distance like trees, sea stacks or mountains is a common and effective method of composition.
To get even closer to the foreground as well as move the horizon toward the upper third of the frame we often end up tilting the camera down, which causes objects to lean outward.
Lightroom and other programs have tools that can correct for some camera tilt, but they tilt the entire image which transforms the foreground and cuts into our intended composition.
Fortunately, Photoshop has advanced transformation and healing tools that allow us to correct the perspective in the top part of the image while leaving the bottom part of the image the way we intended it.
The best way to learn is by watching the video, but these are the basic steps:
- Duplicate the background layer
- Enter Warp mode (Edit>Transform>Warp)
- Use the horizontal split option to isolate the top of the image
- Warp the image
- Select the image area
- Invert the selection
- Expand the selection 5-10 pixels
- Use Content-Aware Fill to fill in the image corners
I hope you can put this technique to good use. Let me know if you have any questions or ideas to add.
My new video course called Photoshop Essentials For Outdoor Photographers teaches this technique and many more. It contains nearly 9 hours of lessons to help nature photographers master Photoshop and get the most out of its advanced capabilities. You can get more information here. Through June 2020 use the code PSessentials25.
Sean is an outdoor photographer, digital image developing enthusiast and photography educator based in Ashland, Oregon, where he resides with his wife and two sons. His previous career as a science teacher makes photography education a good fit. Sean teams up with fellow Photo Cascadia members leading workshops. He also teaches digital image developing classes, lectures and offers a series of Photoshop video tutorials.