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Fixing Problems with Perspective Crop

This is the tool you reach for when there’s something in your image that’s at an angle, but you need it to be flat (and you need to crop everything else but that object away). It’s a one-trick pony, but when you need it, it really works wonders.

Step One:

Open an image that has something that’s angled that you want to be flat. In this case, it’s a book sitting on my desk (by the way, this is an awesome book on copyright for photographers. It’s by intellectual property attorney Ed Greenberg and photographers’ rights advocate Jack Resnicki. Great book! A must-read for anyone sharing their images on the web). Press the letter C until you get the Perspective Crop tool (shown selected here in the Tool Options Bar).

Step Two:

Now, click-and drag a cropping border over the object you want flat. It doesn’t have to surround the whole object at this point because we’re going to adjust it in a second. When you click-and drag, it drags out a visible grid, which is helpful in positioning your crop border (as seen here).

Step Three:

To position the cropping border around the book, just click on the top-right corner handle, and drag it over to the top-right corner of the book. Then, do the same with the bottom corners—click-and-drag them to the bottom corners of the book (as shown here). If you need to reposition the grid, just click anywhere inside it and drag it, or use the side handles to resize it. If you’re not happy with the grid you created, just hit the Esc key on your keyboard and you can take another stab at it.

Step Four:

When it looks good to you, press the Enter (Mac: Return) key to apply the crop to your image. It flattens it out like you see here, and crops everything outside that grid away. Again, you’re not going to use this technique everyday, but when you need it, it works like a charm.

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