Quickly (straighten) photos in Photoshop

Don’t we all know this: You quickly take a snapshot on the beach with a perfect situation, beautiful colors and a funny face that you will never be able to reproduce. 🙁

Only later, you see that you did not properly align your camera and the horizon is not really „horizontal“ as it should be.

You can easily check the tilt angle using the added helper lines.

Now, being old-fashioned, you could open the image in photoshop, copy the layer, select the main motive, cut it out, copy it to the clipboard, rotate the background layer, insert the cut out main motive again, adjust the missing parts with the repair brush and save the image again…

However, there is a much easier way: the lens correction filter (German: „Objektivkorrektur“).

  1. Open the lens correction filter from the „Filter“ menu.
Easy solution at hand: the „Lens correction“ filter in the menu

2. Select the „Level“ tool on the left.

3. Draw a line across a truly horizontal part of your image.

The horizon should be actually „horizontal“

4. Click OK.

Note aside: Alternatively, you can also use the Ruler tool with Straighten layer.

Only the blank edges now need to be filled or cut away. I want to fill them using the Repair tool.

5. Select the Repair tool on the left.

Smart aid at hand: The Repair tool
Fill in the gaps with the tool

6. Use the brush to draw in the areas to be repaired.

Photoshop will fill the missing bits with matching content.

The result is stunning… in less than 5 minutes‘ work.

Your holiday snap is perfectly in shape now and you can continue to relax. 😀

Not what you think!!! – An optical illusion from the macro world.

These days I experimented with a new setup using g my old analog lens on an adjustable macro extension.

Look again… it’s not what you might think!
Look again… it’s not what you might think!
Look again… it’s not what you might think!

I started to shoot what I had available on my desk and thus picked a red pencil. These pictures were the result.

Your first impression was slightly different, even X-rated, wasn’t it? 😉

Here’s the pencil from another angle. Just to prove my point. 😉

I really liked the optical illusion created by a super closeup of such an everyday item.

What do you think?

By the way, here’s what the retro setup looked like:

Retro setup with analog lens, adjustable macro extension and digital SLR.

Competition entry on the subject „Eyes“

In September, our local photo group „Fotofreunde Herborn aka. DieFotoMafia“ held a photo competition on the subject „Eyes“. As my 6-year-old daughter as my usual favorite model did not show too much motivation this time, I thought of an alternative. As „eyes“ also occur on dice and the German word for the grease drops on a soup etc. is „Fettaugen“ („fat eyes“), I improvised and turned a champagne bowl, some vegetable oil, water, syrup and two dice into my setup for the shot, and lit it with my mobile’s torch.

The result was stunning, I think, and it turned out at position three in the competition. I am quite pleased with this result.

Mush(g)rooming for photos

Mushroom in the woods

These days, my family, some friends and I went exploring the fairy tale hike „Little Roothaar“ near Bad Laasphe. Apart from the lovingly prepared stations for the kids, I encountered some of the minute beauties next to the footpaths. They were please to model for some shots and the outcome was quite pleasant, I think.

Head in(to) the clouds

This month’s topic of my group of co-photographers was „clouds“ so I browsed through my archive to find that I have already shot various images of clouds in all sorts of contexts over the years.

What do you think?

My signature shot of Booze on the Beach… over the years

Over the last couple of years, I kept shooting a similar setup whenever we went for the final night picknick on the beach. This year was no different and the picknick on the beach of the German Baltic Sea in August resulted in this:

In previous years, these shots looked „same, same, but different“…

What do you think?

Photowalk in Herborn – Vitos park

As usual, some photo friends went on a walk on April 1. This time, we chose to look for motives in the historic park of the VITOS clinics. The weather was fine this time. Unlike our previous attempt to shoot there last winter. This time, I was able to get quite a few nice shots of the architecture, the plants, and the historic cemeteries.

Photowalk in Wetzlar (Germany)

Recently, a couple of photo friends and I went on a photowalk in the historic town of Wetzlar (Germany). The sky was overcast, the snow had almost fully melted and an almost constant drizzle lowered our expectations of good shots to a minimum. However, I accepted the bad lighting and weather as a challenge and here’s what came out:

I think, they came out not too bad at all. What do you think?

Spooky tour of the town of Herborn

These days, around Halloween, when it is getting darker, our little town of Herborn lends itself for an eery tour and our municipal marketing provides these tours, telling tall tales and spooky stories from the past while they go (only in German).

I was asked to take some pictures for later marketing of these tours and joined the guide last week.

However, the light and some settings were quite challenging as I did not have a chance to „stage“ any scenes but had to shoot them while the tour was running. Thus, I had to take what I could get and add some spookyness later, partially decreasing the saturation and sharpness and adjusting other bits and pieces in Lightroom.

Here are my highlights:

Lucky shots at Lake Constance

Recently, we spent a family short break at Lake Constance in Bavaria. A visit to the archaeological museum on the lake shores gave me the chance to take some photos of the stunning scenery.

On that day, the weather was sunny and the museum was interesting. However, my highlight was a bright red dragonfly sitting on a wooden railing. Pure photographer’s luck, with the lake and the reconstructed stone-age buildings in the background.

Luckily, I had my trusted Sigma 18-250 mega zoom mounted so that I did not have to worry about object distance, bokeh and focus before the main motive escaped.

The insect stayed put and I had the chance to shoot a few different perspectives.

The results were stunning: the light, the background and focus shifts perfectly setting the scene for the main motive.

Meanwhile, I offered the museum’s marketing department to use the images. In return I got some free tickets for my next visit.

Not bad for some accidental free-hand shots, don’t you think?