Between Adobe Camera Raw, Lightroom and Photoshop, there are many tools dedicated to straightening things in images out. While taking photos, tons of variables can throw off the perfect shot. A crooked camera, the wrong position, lens distortion – whatever. What I’m trying to say here is that the field and the lab are two very different things. Out in the field, the goal is to capture the essence of something. Back in the lab, the goal is to fix whatever it is you captured and to make it look its best. Luckily, there are more tools than ever to help out with these goals.
In today’s post, I’m going to share a tool with you that might just save you tons of time. It’s called the Perspective Crop Tool and it’s just about flexible enough to make a very badly composed photo good again. And the best part is, working with this tool is a snap. It’s so easy that I’m not even sure I need to write a post about it. Of course, I will, but I don’t think I need to.
For my demonstration, I’ll take a photo that’s crooked and straighten it out again. Now, I mentioned that there were other tools to handle this and there are. I’ve actually written about a few of them. Think about the Straighten Tool and the Upright Tool in Camera Raw. Photoshop has the Straighten Tool built right into its Crop Tool and also has quite a few Distort Tools and Transform Tools that would help out in situations like these. Today though, I’ll be focusing only on the Perspective Crop Tool because it’s definitely one you want to learn about. It’s probably the most simple to learn of all of them.
By the way, if you would like to learn about the other tools I just mentioned, take a quick look through these posts:
The Demo Photo
I have a perfectly good photo to use for this post. It’s actually straight. Take a look:
To make things interesting and to use the tool I’d like to show you in this post, I’ll need to make this image crooked. I’ll do that now.
This crooked shot is perfect because it’ll work as an excellent demo photo for this post. Now, I want you to be aware of something. This tool isn’t only valuable for fixing crooked photos. It’s primary purpose is to alter the perspective in photos (much like the Upright Tool in Camera Raw). So, if you have a picture of a tall church and it looks like the top of the building is more narrow than the bottom, and it really isn’t, you can follow the instructions I give you down below to make the church appear all the same width. All you need to do is outline the building, stretch the bounding box and hit Enter on your keyboard. You’ll see what I’m referring to below.
Where is the Perspective Crop Tool?
I already have the crooked window photo open in Photoshop. To access the Perspective Crop Tool, I’ll need to click on the regular Crop Tool in the left vertical toolbar and drag out to the right. From there, I’ll see the tool I’m interested in directly below that.
I’ll click on that tool and I’ll be ready to go.
Using the Perspective Crop Tool
This tool’s usage is very straightforward. Basically, all you need to do is to click on the corners of the crooked or misshapen item to create a bounding box. I’ll do that as an example now. I’ll begin by clicking on the upper left corner of the window, then down to the lower left, then to the lower right and finally, to the upper right. As I do this, I’ll notice sort of a web being created. It’s extremely easy to understand and conceptualize.
Next, I’ll click on all four center handles and pull outward. Doing this will keep the perspective I initially drew, but will create a larger area to crop.
Finally, I’ll click the Enter key on my keyboard and the crop will take place.
As you can see, the window is now straight. Your mileage will vary with this tool and it’s best used with photos where an object has a perspective that is off. The window I used was just as an example of how the tool functions. You should definitely experiment with other types of photos to get the hang of things. But really, that’s all there is to it. Like I said, this is a fast one.
I hope I clearly explained how to use the Perspective Crop Tool in Adobe Photoshop. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this post, please let me know in the comment section down below. Thanks for reading.