- Table of Contents
- Photoshop CS3, CS4, and Lightroom
- Sharpen Photos with the Smart Sharpen Filter
- Apply Non-Destructive Transformations with Smart Objects
- Remove Digital Noise
- Advanced Digital Noise Removal
- Keep Your Perspective with Vanishing Point
- Fix Lens Distortion
- Adjust Photos That Are Too Light or Too Dark
- Basic Training with Camera Raw
- Straightening Photos The Easy Way
- Straightening Crooked Photos in Adobe Camera Raw
- Improving Details in Photos
- Creating an Animation
- Simulating a Polarizing Filter
- Turn Color Photos into Crisp Black and Whites
- Selectively Fix Exposure Problems
- Selectively Change Color of Objects in Photos
- Lighten Underexposed Subjects
- Add Contrast to Dull Photos
- Creating Special Effects
- Color Correcting Images
- Retouching People and Portraits
- Showing Off Your Work
- Managing Your Images
- Creating a Better Workflow
- Using Photoshop with the Creative Suite
- Video Tutorials
- Additional Resources
- Editing Photos
- What is Photoshop?
- Basics and Setup
- Color Management
- Paths and Shapes
- Painting and Brushes
- Color and Value
- Restoring, Manipulating, and Compositing
- Saving and Exporting
- Actions and Automation
- Building Web Graphics With ImageReady
- Working With Adobe Version Cue
- Cool, Quick Effects
Fix Lens Distortion
Last updated Mar 14, 2003.
Although most filters under the Filter > Distort menu fall under the destructive category, the new Lens Correction filter actually helps your images. Let's take a look here to see how we can fix some common problems in digital photos.
- Open a photo in Photoshop CS2 that is affected by distortion in some way.
If you don't have a photo, you can always download
the photo I'm using
here. As you
look at this example, notice the distortion that can be seen between the
walkways between the boats. They should be horizontal across the photo. Instead,
they appear to be bowed outward, indicating that this photo needs a little
Figure 1 A photo with some obvious distortion problems.
- To fix this photo, we'll use the Lens Correction filter on it. Choose
Filter > Distort > Lens Correction and the following dialog will open.
Notice how Photoshop includes a grid over the photo to help you see areas that
should be horizontal or vertical but are not.
Figure 2 The Lens Correction Filter dialog
- Adjust the Remove Distortion setting to remove the curvature caused by the
camera lens and correct the photo’s perspective.
Figure 3 Observe the arrow and note how the walkways between the boats now appear horizontal.
- Just below the Remove Distortion setting, you'll see the Chromatic
Aberration section. These settings can be used to fix false color defects in
images as well as any colored fringes that may appear from the use of a certain
lens. It’s one of those defects that you'll just know when you see
Figure 4 You’ll use the Chromatic Aberration settings to fix color defects.
- Below the Chromatic Aberration section is the Vignette section, which is
used to adjust those dark areas around a photo caused, for example, by
wide-angle lenses or certain filters, such as polarizing filters. Sometimes a
vignette is an effect that we want, but more often it’s an effect that we
want to avoid. This photo suffers from a vignette around the edges, which is
easily removed by moving the Amount setting to the right to lighten those dark
Figure 5a Before
Figure 5b After
- Below Vignette is the Transform area. Here, you can fix vertical or
horizontal perspective problems. You'd find these types of issues on photos
of tall buildings, for example, but not so much here.
Figure 6 Transform tall buildings with a single slider using either the Vertical or Horizontal Perspective tools.
- The last areas to check out are the Edge and Scale settings at the bottom of
the Lens Correction dialog. In this example, the filter must bring the
photo’s outside edges in toward the center to fix the photo. In doing so,
the filter removes some pixel information—as you can see in this
image—and replaces it with Transparency (hence the Transparency setting
Figure 7 Another photo with obvious distortion problems. This time, we’ll fix the problem using the Edge and Scale settings.
- To fix this problem, simply adjust the Scale setting. You'll start to
see that the photo is scaled slightly to get rid of those transparent pixels
that were left behind by the first adjustment.
Figure 8 Ah, now that’s better. The Scale setting has done its job.
As you can see, the Lens Correction filter really comes in handy if you're shooting photos with a wide angle lens. Imagine how many photos you'd wind up tossing away because of distortion without it. Now, you can easily fix them. Next week, I'm going to show you a really cool trick to use this filter in a different way and add the vignetting effect to a photo. Until then—happy Photoshopping!