Friday, October 21, 2011

Use Adobe Photoshop's Lens Correction

There's always something new to play with in either Adobe Photoshop CS5 or Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3.  I use to obsess about barrel distortion when taking wide angle shots at fairly close range.  Such was the case with today's image.  I almost looked like the window was semicircular in a vertical dimension.  We were up in Bar Harbor Maine over the past weekend and wandering around Main Street after dinner.  Bar Harbor is just a great little town for hanging out and window shopping.  Everywhere we looked there were neat little shops and neat little vignettes that would make interesting images.  Today's image is a good example of how either Photoshop CS5's ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) or Lightroom 3 can make a problem into a one click solution.  In either case, Adobe has a routine for Len Correction.  In LR3 it a panel available in the Develop Module.  In ACR it's on the all encompassing screen and looks like a lens group.  It's the sixth icon in on the set of icons just under the Histogram (just to the left of the FX icon).  Adobe maintains a large database of lenses from most of the major manufacturers.  There are two options, Manual and Profile.  Manual is just as it sounds.  You make any adjustments you feel are necessary.  There's another tab called Profile.  The camera manufacturer, the specific lens and Adobe's Profile for that combination is picked up from the EXIF data that accompanies each image.  Clicking on Enable Profile Corrections instantly "corrects" any distortion in the lens.  The straight lines in the window are the result of Adobe's lens correction.  The only thing done to the image (as far as any straightening goes) is to correct the tilt of the camera.  The entire image "leaned" to the left.  There is other processing that went into making today's image what it is.  To find out what was done after the Lens Correction, hit the "Read More".

In the top left corner could be seen the facade of the second story of the building.  That was easily removed using the Clone Stamp Tool (S).  The color (slightly off black) was picked up using the Color Picker Tool (I) and brushed out with the Brush Tool (B). 
There wasn't a whole lot to do about the blown out flood lights, but the second wood beam inside the shop was also blown out.  Using the Recovery Slider in LR3 did nothing for that spot.  I thought there might be some detail.  The trick was how to pull it out.  In LR3 (it could have been done in ACR) the Adjustment Brush was selected and a color applied to pretty much match the color of the beam.  The way I was the Adjustment Brush is to bring the Exposure all the way down (minus four stops) to see where I'm applying the adjustment.  Once I have the area covered I double click on the work Exposure to return it zero.  I then highlight the 0.00 value and use the Shift Key and the Up or Down arrows to gently make the adjustment.  In this case it was the Down Arrow to darken the beam.
There as ceramic disk just about centered in the image.  I had a light directly on it and was very "hot".  Another Adjustment Brush was used to tone down the plate.  The same level of adjustment was used on the second level just above the stairs. 
Nothing was done to make the image warmer.  The rich browns were there to start.  I vignette gives a more moody feel to the image by lowering the luminance of the walkway in front of the store.