Correcting Visibly “Falling Over” Buildings

by | Jul 11, 2021

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

Wide angle lenses are great for architectural photography but can create the “falling over” building effect that doesn’t always recreate the look that’s produced when making photographs with a view camera or even when using a Tilt-Shift lens or Perspective Control lens. These kinds of lenses can eliminate the “falling over” building look and can, depending on the building being photographed, almost duplicate what you can do with a view camera. But all this control doesn’t come cheap. A Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II Tilt-Shift Lens costs $1,899 and a Nikon PC-E 24mm f/2.5 costs even more. That’s fine and dandy if you make your living as an architectural photographer but what if you just do it for fun and only from time to time?

I photographed the 300 year old church of San Filepe de Neri in Old Town Albuquerque using an Olympus E-P3 DSLR with a 12mm f/2.0 lens (24mm equivalent) and there is some perspective distortion due to the 82 degree angle-of-view along with how I had the camera titled. This doesn’t bother some people and if that’s you, just bail from this page and look at another post. If it does bother you, here’s a quick and easy way to fix it using Adobe Photoshop.

Step 1: Open the file and chose Select > All to select the entire image. Drag a guide line out from the side by making sure Rulers are shown and just drag and grab and place a blue line to guide you in making corrections.

 

Step 2. Chose Edit > Transform > Perspective that will place handles (a little box) in each corner. Drag one of the top handles straight out and watch the lines in the building start to “correct themselves. You can do this by “eye” or by using one of the guide lines that I suggested you drag onto the images.

 

Step 3: Select Image > Crop and you’re done. I finished the image buy tweaking in using the Polarizing filter that’s part of Color Efex Pro.

When correcting the perspective, something from the image is always lost and if you know you’re going to correct perspective in post production, then you might plan ahead and include some extra material on the sides that will later be cropped out when the image is corrected.

Thank You to Gregg Lowrimore for his support for me and this blog!


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