Correcting Perspective Problems in PhotoShop

Oops, Everything's Leaning

Have you ever taken a photo like this? Everything in it seems to be leaning, and not all in the same direction, either. This effect, called "keystoning," happened because I tilted the camera up to catch the tall building. The effect was exaggerated because I was using a wide-angle lens.
Before Correction

Fortunately, PhotoShop can help correct these problems. There are many ways to do it, but I'll just discuss a couple of them.

Correcting Perspective using the Crop Tool

  1. First, make sure that the image is level horizontally. Hugh Stockton has written a Tip showing one easy way to level images. For me, what works best is to make sure that the vertical lines near the center of the image are indeed vertical.

    In this image, objects in the center appear to be vertical, so we won't need to level the image.

  2. Once the image has been leveled, select the Crop Tool, and use it to select the entire image.

  3. Then check the "Perspective" checkbox.

    Setting up the Crop Tool

  4. Now drag the top corners of the Crop Tool inward, lining up the right and left edges with something that should be vertical: in this case, the bricks on the left and the light pole on the right.

    Lining up the edges of the crop tool

  5. When you are satisfied, finish the crop by double-clicking the image or some other method.

The Result

Things are much straighter!

After correction

Other Methods

  • Using Transform/Perspective
  • For even more control, try using Edit/Free Transform. Holding down the shift and control keys as you drag the mouse changes how the tool works.