Straighten Buildings with Transform Warp
I love me some wide angle goodness. When shooting cityscapes and street scenes, I actually like a little bend in the buildings. The altered perspective adds a dynamic quality to photos. However, the warping can sometimes be too much. In those cases, Photoshop's Transform Warp tool makes for an easy fix.
Does This Look Funny to You?
Oh how I wish I had a distorted photo of a clown right now. :-) Instead, here's a photo of the Gran Via in Madrid, Spain. I shot this at 20mm and the warping is too much for my taste. Even the buildings I wasn't trying to capture creeped into the frame.
Take control of the amount of warp you want (or can tolerate!) in your photo. In Photoshop, choose Edit > Transform > Warp. There are several Warp types you can select in the options bar. I generally dive right into dragging and pulling the control points.
You can also click and drag any part of your photo to alter the warp. The tic-tac-toe board is a useful guideline, but you don't have to limit yourself to its points and lines.
After a minute or two of experimenting, the buildings on the left and right are much better oriented. I've left a little warp in the buildings. A fringe benefit is the distracting buildings at the far left and right edges were largely removed thanks to the transform.
I don't go into Photoshop often, but to use Transform Warp is certainly one of them. Do you have another method for straightening buildings? Or use Transform Warp in another way? Share your thoughts in the comments.