What's it all about?

This blog is about photography and photoediting. Its purpose is to provide hints and tips and links to interesting and useful resources for digital photographers, regardless of their level of expertise or experience. It is aimed at people who use digital SLR cameras and who process their images using the latest versions of Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.

The author of this blog is Glenn Springer and you can read more about him at his web portal at faczen.com. Information on workshops, and links to everything is at photography.to. Glenn's original blog, which is an ongoing journal of his photographic meanderings goes back to 2006 and contains many additional hints and tips, as well as representative images that he has made. Gallery quality prints are available through his Smugmug gallery site. It is an interesting place to visit to see a variety of quality images, as well as an ongoing general journal of photos going back several years.

Photography workshops are scheduled every few weeks starting in the Spring. For an overview of what's happening, please visit the photography.to website.

The most recent blog post is below. Scroll down to the bottom to see the list of previous postings or search for any particular topic.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Perspective Cropping in Photoshop

On the NAPP forum, someone was asking for advice because the pictures he was cropping were getting distorted, faces elongated. I suggested that perhaps he had the Perspective box selected when he was cropping. I still don't know if that was the problem, but the following is the answer I wrote. The question I was responding to was, "so what does the perspective box do?"

Some of the tools in Photoshop are mysterious when you haven’t used them regularly, if at all. I think the perspective cropping tool falls in that category.

OK, a picture is worth 1000 words. I just grabbed a shot of my grandson who REALLY, REALLY, REALLY needs a haircut. Here's the original, trimmed down to fit better here.

I decided to crop it to an 8x10 ratio.

Notice that this is without the perspective box selected. If I drag a corner, it keeps the same aspect ratio, just includes more or less of the image.

Now I did it again with the perspective box ticked:

Nothing else changed, except I dragged the top down and the bottom up. Doesn't look like an 8x10, right? But here's what you get when you invoke the crop by double clicking inside the selected area:

Elongated face! The reason is that with the perspective box selected, the cropping tool will take whatever's selected and make it fit in an 8x10 aspect ratio. It will stretch or shrink it as necessary to make that happen.

I'm guessing this is what's going on for you.

The perspective control is a very powerful tool. You can use it to make lines that are not parallel, parallel (couldn't think of a better way to say that. Oh wait: a picture is worth...)

Drag the cropping rectangle (OK, not a rectangle any more, a quadrilateral) until the sides are parallel with the things you want straight up and down or sideways


Perspective cropping in Photoshop. That's how it works.

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