Perspective correction is not necessary for most photos, but there are times when it will make the difference between an image that looks professional and one that just looks amateurish.
If you do a lot of travel or architectural photography you'll know all about the problems of perspective. The most common issue is converging verticals, or keystone distortion, where you had to tilt the camera upwards to get the whole of the subject in the frame, and this has made the sides of the subject lean inwards.
But smaller problems can be just as annoying, such as a slight horizontal skew that leaves things you know should be horizontal on a slant. Or a perfectly rectangular facade that's actually not quite rectangular because you couldn't shoot it from dead opposite.
All of these things can be fixed with digital perspective correction tools. Lightroom and Capture One Pro offer built in perspective correction tools – and other programs like Luminar, Exposure X and ON1 Photo RAW can do the same.
Note that you should only carry out perspective correction after you've applied lens corrections to fix any lens distortion. Any trace of barrel or pincushion distortion makes it impossible to judge if a line or object is properly horizontal or vertical.
Perspective correction might seem like a relatively technical and unimportant job, but it can make a big difference to pictures of landmarks and buildings.
Which is best for processing RAW files, DxO PhotoLab, Lightroom or Capture One? Here’s a set of eight image comparisons that aims to find out.
Verdict: 4.5 stars Perspective Efex is a really nice addition to the DxO Nik Collection 3. It offers geometric perspective, distortion and tilt-shift corrections in a simple, user-friendly interface.
Lightroom comes in two versions. Lightroom Classic CC, the ‘desktop’ version, is probably the most popular, especially amongst long-term Lightroom users, but Lightroom CC has a lot to commend it. On the downside, it means paying extra for Adobe Creative Cloud storage – the 20GB with the regular Photography Plan is not enough, and the […]
This shot of an Icelandic church looked nice enough in color but I thought it had a bit more potential as a black and white image – though there were a few issues I wanted to sort out first. For this project I used Exposure X. The same tools exist in other programs, but I […]
There are a handful of basic tweaks you just know you’re going to want to apply to each image.
Verdict: 4 stars DxO ViewPoint 3 is a very effective and useful add-on for DxO PhotoLab but perhaps less useful these days as a plug-in for Lightroom and Photoshop, given that these have pretty good perspective correction tools of their own. ViewPoint also faces competition from the new and very similar Perspective Efex plug in that’s part of the DxO Nik Collection 3.
Here’s an interesting little problem you often get when photographing paintings or other pictures. You get the camera perfectly perpendicular to the picture, only to find you’ve got horrible glare from the surface of the picture, completely ruining the shot. So here’s the problem. I didn’t have a polarising filter with me, which might have […]
Keystone correction is usually used to fix converging verticals in architectural shots – that’s the most obvious use for the Capture One keystone correction tools – but this vertical keystone correction isn’t the only kind you’ll need. Keystone distortion happens when you tilt the camera relative to your subject, and this can mean horizontal tilt […]
You can fix converging verticals and other perspective problems in many programs, including Lightroom and DxO Optics Pro, but Capture One Pro 7 has what I think is the most easiest and most accurate tool of all. The problem with fixing keystoning is that you need to be extremely accurate in aligning the tool’s marker […]