Quick and easy lens correction

It happens to everyone, you’re reviewing the vacation photos and all the shots are great except they’re a bit off. One’s crooked, the other is partially distorted and the last one has a building that towers over everything else. How can you fix all of these without doing multiple transformations per image or giving up hope to salvage it? It gets easier with Photoshop’s lens correction filter.

Photoshop has one filter to fix a myriad of lens-related problems which is helpful since most photos require at least one of these solutions. Most problems can be fixed, but you should stay away from correcting drastic perspective. Ideally, the  image should look as natural as possible. Since it’s a filter, you can easily make multiple changes with a full preview before committing to them.

1. Open your image and go to Filter > Distort > Lens Correction.


2. Here’s what the dialogue looks like:


Make sure your preview is turned on and the grid lines are showing before you start to make changes. Click on the grid color to change it if there’s not enough contrast. You’ll want to compare the grid to the horizontal and vertical lines in the photo.

The most drastic changes are usually needed in the areas highlighted in yellow. You can bloat the image or shrink (pucker) the sides towards the center point to achieve straight vertical and horizontal lines.

Transform the vertical and horizontal perspective to match to straighten the image.

The dialogue also has icons in the upper left corner. The first is a shortcut to the pucker and bloat feature on the top right. The second is a handy straighten tool that can be dragged along a crooked horizon line or vertical line to straighten them to 0° or 90°.

The other areas highlighted in orange are also helpful. At the top right, this tool will move the grid lines so you can easily place them next to vertical lines in your image.

Chromatic Aberration is a huge problem in many photos because digital cameras sometimes have a problem recording the edges of things in bright light situations. It mainly shows up as bright blue/purple or yellow fringe on everything from buildings to trees. Zoom into your photo to see if you have this problem then move the sliders accordingly.

A vignette is a darkening of the corners and typically happens when a lens hood is used. You can counteract this by lightening the corners to the same brightness level as the rest of the photo with the Vignette slider. Vignettes can also be added to photos in an artistic way to create the look of older photographs or to draw attention to the focal point.

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