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How to correct photo perspective

So, you photographed a building from close up and you didn’t get the result you were hoping for?  In your photo the building looks like it’s leaning backwards, and the base looks disproportionately large?  The good news is that it’s not too late to change the angle of your shot! With a bit of editing you can easily correct perspective distortion in your urban and architectural photos.

Examples of perspective distortion in buildings

In this tutorial you’ll learn how to adjust perspective automatically or manually. In the following examples we’ll “straighten” different buildings to make the pictures look more natural.

To follow along and test this tutorial in real time, download the free trial version of Photo Studio below:

Where to find the Perspective tool

The different perspective correction modes are located in the Photo Editor module of Photo Studio.

Open your photo in Photo Editor and click the Correction tab, followed by the Perspective tool.

You can choose between automatic 1-click correction, and more advanced manual correction with precise settings.

Perspective tool in Photo Editor

1- Automatic perspective correction

Photo Studio offers you multiple automatic modes to correct perspective in your photos.

Full correction in 1 click

Optimize the correction of a building with full horizontal and vertical line correction.

  • In the Perspective tool, click Horizontal and vertical line correction to start the full automatic correction process

The vertical and horizontal lines are “straightened” and the level is corrected.

Before/after full perspective correction with Photo Editor

Tip:
To achieve a more natural look, you can slightly reduce the amount of correction using the Amount slider.

Horizontal mode and Vertical mode

Depending on your photo, you can also choose automatic correction for horizontal lines or vertical lines only. Horizontal line correction straightens the building relative to the horizon, whereas vertical line correction straightens the sides of the building.

Automatic correction modes

  • In the Perspective tool, click Horizontal line correction to align the building on the horizon. This removes the twisted effect towards right or left.
  • In the Perspective tool, click Vertical line correction to straighten vertical lines. In this example, the sides of the building have been straightened so that the building no longer looks like it is leaning backwards.

Before/after horizontal correction

Note:

The white areas on either side of the buildings in the above examples are due to changes in the angle of view, necessary to correct the perspective. Cropping your photo, as shown at the end of this article, will allow you to remove these areas and finish the correction.

In some cases, when your photo was taken from too close or from an angle, automatic correction is not sufficient.  For these photos switch to manual correction for an optimal result.

2- Manual perspective correction

You can draw your own guides on your photo to set the horizontal and vertical lines to straighten.

  1. In the Perspective tool, click Manual correction with guides
  2. Draw the lines you want to straighten directly on your photo.
    Use the zoom display with the cursor to help you draw precisely. Adding guides for manual correctionThe building is straightened instantlyManual transformation settings
  3. Expand the settings menu to display the Manual transformation settings and optimize your correction.

In this example, we adjusted the following settings to recover the top of the building:

  • Scale to adjust the size of the image to fit the frame
  • Vertical offset to move the photo, downwards in this case
  • Aspect to alter the height/width ratio of the image to correct as much distortion as possible Manual transformation settings

Once the perspective is corrected, you can move to the cropping stage to perfect your image.

3-Cropping the photo

To finish the perspective editing, you will need to crop your image because the angle of view has been changed multiple times.

  1. Click the Crop tool, then select Custom to manually set the size of your photo
  2. Click the Crop button at the bottom right to confirm the cropping Cropping the photo

Now you can admire the finished image with perspective correction.

Finished photo with perspective correction

Now you know that changing the angle of view of a photo is possible and can help you to recreate the true perspective of a building.

You can learn more about using the Perspective tool with the help of our dedicated video tutorial which looks in detail at the different correction modes available in Photo Studio.

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