How to Use the Lens Correction Filter in Photoshop CS6

Photoshop CS6’s Lens Correction Filter fixes distortions caused by the camera lens. Choose Filter→Lens Correction. In the dialog box, you find Auto Correction and Custom tabs. Make it easy and try the Auto Corrections or move right to the Custom settings and manually make corrective adjustments.

Here’s the lowdown on the Automatic Correction settings:

  • Correction: Select the problem you want to correct. Find explanations of each in the Custom tab information. Note that if the corrections extend or contract your image beyond its original dimensions, choose Auto Scale Image. Choose how you want your edges filled from the Edge drop-down menu (pop-up menu on the Mac) — with black, white, transparency, or extended with pixels from the image.

  • Search Criteria: Choose your camera make and model, as well as your lens model. Choosing the correct equipment assists Photoshop in making more accurate corrections.

  • Lens Profiles: Select a matching profile. For zoom lenses, right-click (Control-click on the Mac) and choose the most similar focal length. If you don’t find your lens profile, click the Search Online button to find profiles uploaded by other photographers. If you want to save a profile for later use, click the Lens Profiles drop-down menu (pop-up menu on the Mac) and choose Save Online Profile Locally.

Here are the settings under the Custom tab:

  • Geometric Distortion: Correct abnormalities such as barrel and pincushion distortions, in which straight lines appear (respectively) bowed out or in. Select the Remove Distortion tool and drag on the image — or you can also drag the Remove Distortion slider.

  • Chromatic Aberration: Got colored fringe around your subjects? Photographers call this nastiness chromatic aberration. Fringe, aberration, whatever it’s called — get rid of it by using the Red/Cyan or Blue/Yellow Fringe sliders. The Move Grid, Hand, and Zoom tools can help make your adjustments more user-friendly.

  • Vignette: If your images suffer from vignetting, in which the edges are darker than the center, slide the Amount slider to specify the amount of lightening or darkening. Slide the Midpoint slider to specify the width affected by the Amount.

  • Transform: Correct perspective issues, often caused by tilting your camera when shooting, by using the Transform sliders of Vertical and Horizontal Perspective. Adjust the Angle to rotate the image to compensate for camera tilt or tweak your perspective adjustments. You may also use the Straighten tool to rotate a tilted image

    [Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/AleksandarGeorgiev Image #16411893]
    Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/AleksandarGeorgiev Image #16411893

    Drag along the line in your image that you want to straighten. Finally, to eliminate blank areas in your image created by correcting geometric distortions, use the Scale setting, which crops off those areas.

  • Preview/Show Grid: Choose whether to see your image with or without a grid overlay (of which you can specify the size). Many problems, such as perspective issues, are easier to fix using a grid as a guide.

  • The Move grid, Color, Hand, and Zoom tools: Can help make your adjustments more user friendly. The Color tool changes the color of the grid. Move the grid to line it up with your image as needed. You can also control your magnification using the zoom controls in the lower-left corner of the dialog box.

The Lens Correction filter works with 8-bit and 16-bit images only.

You can fix several photos simultaneously by batch-processing them with the Lens Correction automated command. Choose File→Automate→Lens Correction.

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