Robert D Feinman

Fun with Perspectives

One of the nice features of digital image editing is the ability to make complicated perspective changes.

Here is the full frame of an image taken at the new Time Warner building on Columbus Circle in NYC.

I was interested in the pattern of bright squares in the lobby, but was forced to shoot off center from the second floor balcony.

The resulting image has severe image distortions.

Original Image
To correct this I used the standard Photoshop perspective tool.

First I dragged some guides into the image.

Then I adjusted the selection outline with the transform perspective tool so that the top of the outside windows and the close edge of the lobby floor were parallel to the frame edge.

This is what the dialog looked like just before I committed the changes.
perspective dialog
Perspective Dialog
This is the image after the adjustments.

The vertical sides of the lobby floor converge towards the entry, but most people would find this acceptable.

This is the version I would normally use as my final display.
after perspective
After Perspective
However, digital image editing allows for even more creative changes.

Let's do this again this time using the crop with perspective tool.

Here is the first step of the crop dialog. The portion to be removed is marked in yellow.

We have moved the crop corners to just outside the floor pattern and parallel to each edge.
crop step 1
Crop with Perspective -  step 1
We have now moved the crop edges outward while keeping them at the same angle as above.

This way we will keep some of the surrounding image, but will apply the  proper perspective transformation.
crop perspective step 2
Crop with Perspective - step 2
Here is the final image after a little further cropping and resizing.

Notice the floor pattern is now a perfect rectangle. We could only get this image vantage point if we were floating one story above the lobby!

Of course, it's not really the same as a true arial shot, the people are all stretched vertically and we don't see straight down the escalator.

But, who says we need to be completely realistic?

Which treatment do you prefer?
after crop
Cropped with Perspective
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© 2004 Robert D Feinman