How to properly align angled shots?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Fzang, Aug 4, 2015.

  1. Fzang macrumors 65816


    Jun 15, 2013
    Take this image I recently shot, for example. How do I align it, so that it doesn't appear crooked anymore? If I had shot it straight on, I could have picked and followed any horizontal line, but when shot at a slight off-angle it's as if it's almost impossible to straighten out. Can somebody draw some lines for me and teach me about perspectives, please?

    Yes, I realize I could have shot it straight on, but that's not the point. I'm just grooming vacation photos here.

  2. kenoh macrumors demi-god


    Jul 18, 2008
    Glasgow, UK
    I think most tools have some form of perspective warp function. Lightroom has it in the develop module under Lens Corrections. Photoshop has it as Perspective Crop Tool - right click the crop tool on left, you will see perspective crop. You then have to click the four corners of the item. Play with it a bit and you will get the hang of it. Other editing tools have the same tool with slightly different names.

    You will need to play with it. It only works well with slight adjustments really.

    I took the liberty of doing a quick and dirty adjustment to show you. If you would prefer I will remove the image. Let me know

    Attached Files:

  3. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    Either you use a tilt and shift lens to do the correction in camera, or you do the correction using software tools. If your current post processing app does not have this capability, it is time to move on to one that does.
  4. JDDavis macrumors 65816


    Jan 16, 2009
    It isn't the point...but it kinda is. If you want the straightest lines possible with the equipment you have then how you are lined up on the subject is pretty critical. Depending on your equipment and subject just the slightest offset can cause exaggerated angles on long lines. Sometimes, this can be desirable as well.

    Software can fix a lot. Capture One Pro also has good correction capability. My point is mainly that when you use those tools in software you will lose part of the image (gets cropped). The better you are lined up when you take the shot (if possible) the less correction you will need in software. There's not much you can do with a tall building without a tilt shift lens so another thing to do is leave space in your composition so that when you correct it in software you still have all of the image you want (top of building or whatever).
  5. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    Affinity Photo has some of the best alignment tools out there, in terms of value, utility and ease of use. They might have their demo available by now, and this would be a good test of its capabilities.
  6. anotherscotsman macrumors 68000

    Aug 2, 2014
    I agree with JDDAvis on the tools in Capture One Pro - very impressive but as he says, major shifts can result in significant cropping. A significantly less expensive (£12) stand-alone option is DxO Perspective - I used it before I bought COP and it works pretty well. Available on the MAC App store.
  7. Apple fanboy macrumors Penryn

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
  8. swordio777 macrumors 6502

    Apr 3, 2013
    Scotland, UK
    Hi Fzang,

    Because you weren't shooting straight-on to the building, you'll never get it looking 100% natural. This is simply down to parallax - you want it to look like you were standing somewhere else, but the information in the shot will always be the view from where you were actually standing.

    With that said, you can certainly straighten it a bit without it looking *too* weird. One thing to remember when editing a shot like this is that converging verticals are natural - we see them with our own eyes when we look up. If you straighten the verticals so they're perfectly parallel it's easy for the verticals to look like they are diverging.

    I've tweaked your original image in photoshop using the free transform tool & attached two versions of it. The first shows the shot adjusted and cropped to keep it within a 3x2 frame. The second shows the actual shape of the adjusted image against a black background (hopefully this covers the perspective part of your request).

    First step was to straighten the horizon, then I simply pulled out the top corners until it looked about right. This made the building look too wide, though. So I then brought the sides in making the building appear closer to the width in the original shot.

    Hope this helps.


    Attached Files:

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