Architectural Perspective Correction

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Architectural perspective correction may sound complicated, but it’s really just a name for straightening building in your photos that appear warped due to lens distortion. In the video below, I’ll show you how to easily correct lens distortion for architecture in Lightroom CC.

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Architectural Perspective Correction with Lightroom Transform

Perspective distortion in photography happens when you see lean. It’s called the Keystone effect – when angles appear to converge in photos. The effect of this distortion is so common in photos these days that many of us don’t even mind it. It’s accepted that we know the building doesn’t really lean back or inward, so we ignore the effect.

Imagine how your photos could stand out from the crowd if you knew how to fix the Keystone effect with architectural perspective correction?

The photos below are from my first day in Havana, Cuba. The architecture and decay is very interesting. So is the laundry hanging over the balcony.

In the video below, I show how you can use Adobe Lightroom CC to easily transform a photo with Keystone distortion, like this one:

Architectural Perspective Correction

…into a photo with straight lines in the architecture, like the one below.

Architectural Perspective Correction

What Causes Keystone Distortion?

The manufacturers design lenses to prevent distortion when you shoot straight forward. Rectilinear lenses capture straight lines in a scene as straight lines, as long as you photograph them in a straight line of sight.

The problem is that the world doesn’t always exist in a perfectly straight line. Tall buildings exceed the ability of a lens to capture the entire subject straight forward. They appear to converge – or lean – in our photographs. That’s why we need to use architectural perspective correction in post processing. Another alternative is to use a specialty lens, like a tilt-shift lens, for architecture.

Why do tilt-shit lenses work when other rectilinear lenses still show Keystone distortion?

A typical lens displays the Keystone effect when you aren’t taking the photo straight forward. If you have a slight tilt in your composition in any direction, the photo composition is no longer in a straight line relative to your subject. A tilt-shit lens allows you to adjust your composition without tilting the camera.

Since many of us don’t have a tilt-shift lens, we rely upon software, such as Lightroom CC, to correct the issue in post processing.

Video Tutorial: Architectural Perspective Correction

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