Question: I’ve been taking a lot of photos lately with my wide angle lens (Sigma 10-20mm). While these pictures are great and I love them a lot, I’d like to remove some of the distortion from them that the lens introduces. I’m even creating a few panoramic shots from individual images that I’ve captured and the panoramas are coming out curved. They look like they were taken with a fisheye lens or something. I’d rather not have these types of photos include the distortion. In my city shots, the horizons are curved and the buildings seems to be leaning inward. Any advice would be welcome. Thanks.
Answer: You’ve come to the right place. Just as luck would have it, Photoshop has a filter to remove lens distortion and it’s incredibly easy to use. Here’s how you use it:
First, open your image into Photoshop. Then, convert that layer into a Smart Object. Finally, go to the Filter > Adaptive Wide Angle menu item and click.
The Adaptive Wide Angle palette should open up. By default, the Constraint Tool should be active. That’s the top tool in the left toolbar. It basically draws lines and then those lines convert whatever they’re drawn on into perfect verticals or horizons. So all you need to do is draw a line across your horizon, if it’s curved or slanted because the camera wasn’t level. After you’re finished drawing the line, right-click on the end handle and choose the Horizontal option.
To make your buildings stand straight up vertically, click and draw a line on one of the vertical edges. Then, right before letting go of your mouse button, hold down the Shift key. This will change the line from blue to purple. Let go of the mouse button and you’ll see the building magically stand up straight. Follow these same steps for every building that’s leaning and you should be good to go. When you’re finished, click on the OK button to exit out of the palette and then crop your image to remove any empty space your correction introduced.
That’s pretty much it. The Adaptive Wide Angle filter was built for exactly what you want to do, so learn it and use it. I think you’ll have some good luck with it. Let me know how it goes.