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Tips & Tricks

Change Perspective With This Highly Underused & Easy Photoshop Tool

By Kishore Sawh on May 10th 2014

I have little use for a tilt-shift lens, and the likelihood that I’ll need to include one in my permanent stable of lenses is quite slim. That being said, I do tend to move around quite a lot, and the places I’m in often have some remarkable architecture. So it’s very common I’ll be directly photographing buildings, or indirectly as they fall into view.

Perspectives can become somewhat oddly defined depending on the composition you choose to create, the angle you’re shooting from, focal length etc., and while I generally don’t mind this, there are times I wish I could make the look a little less obvious, or even, more exaggerated. Now I can, relatively well at that, in Photoshop.

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Again, I’m not saying Photoshop is a true supplement for a tilt-shift lens, but the Perspective Warp tool is so deceptively simple and effective to use, that it’s a shame more people don’t use it. It’s as easy as drag and drop, and a little rotation. I’ve included a video which does a very good job showing you just how it’s done. I can see this being entirely useful for landscape photographers, real estate photographers and architectural photographers/students.

[REWIND: Why You Should Multiply Aperture By Crop Factor When Comparing Lenses]

Thoughts

As the tool does actually warp the entire photo to keep things in “proper” perspective there are often crops that need to be made the shot – but this is to be expected if it is not to actually create/add new material to the photo. Just keep that in mind as you go. Incidentally, I’ve actually tried using this on landforms and not just buildings and the effect can be surprisingly nice. In a way you can sometimes get away with more since landforms tend to be less rigid in structure with else defined lines.

Source: Howard Pinksy YouTube

About

A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Barry Cunningham

    Having an old Hasselblad and a Canon 7D, I was interested to spot this tilt-shift Hasselblad to EOS lens adapter on Amazon:
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ZZ4BFMI
    Not having seen any reviews, I’m quite reluctant to plunk down the money for it though.
    Still, it’s much cheaper than the native Canon T/S lenses.

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  2. Bokehman

    Don’t underestimate the usefulness of a Tilt/Shift lens, it’s NOT about fixing perspective (any competent software can stretch pixels), it’s ALL ABOUT PLANE OF FOCUS …

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  3. Johan

    If you use Perspective Warp on the entire image, you may as well (or perhaps even better) use the Lens Corrections filter.

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  4. Rick

    Perhaps the video’s author should have used images that only needed minor fixups. The amount of warp applied, especially to the first image, left the result really funky. For example, look at the wavy walkway and shadows.

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    • Kishore Sawh

      Hi Rick, I agree generally, though from my experience here it often seems subtlety gets a lot of negative attention. I am usually one for very subtle manipulations, or at least ones that don’t appear to be severe. I’m assuming he did it mainly for demonstrative purposes. Thanks for commenting. Cheers

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