Recently a friend bought fisheye and called me during weekend. We wanted to know the ways to get away with the distortion of fisheye lens. I briefly shared the process of processing fisheye photographs in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. Here I thought of sharing the same with all of you. This post is not only about correcting distortion or perspective, but also shares about complete workflow of processing fisheye photographs.
The very first step to start post-processing for a photograph is to select 'Enable Profile Corrections' in 'Lens Correction' section of Develop module of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. Please notice the change in photograph and the highlighted control on right. All the distortions of fisheye lens have gone away. Now you see perspective problem in this photograph and next screen explains the ways to deal with vertical distortion (vertical lines are not properly aligned in photograph. Ideally vertical lines should be parallel).
In 'Lens Correction' section, move to 'Manual' options and start adjusting Vertical slider. Since all vertical lines are going towards center on top, we need to move the slider towards left. The beauty of Lightroom is that it's control are extremely easy to use and all the controls give you live feedback about the change. When Vertical or Horizontal distortions are corrected we have to compromise on the aspect ratio of the photograph. The magnitude would depend upon the amount of correction needed. Notice white space added in this photograph. Now we need to crop it, but before that we would also correct horizontal distortion.
Here I have tried to correct the perspective by using Vertical, Horizontal, Rotate, Scale, Aspect. A important aspect of editing is that right results can only be achieved by correct combination of values for different controls. It's all about balancing things. If you have any fisheye photograph, I would recommend to play with these control and see how effectively they are responding to your photograph. And it's not about Fisheye photograph. You can chose any architecture photograph which can incorrect perspective.
The next logical step about correcting distortions and perspective issues, is to crop the photograph to bring it to final frame you want to use. Crop control is highlighted in above screen. It's located just below Histogram in Develop module of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.
We have corrected perspective of this photograph and now we have some bonus steps of post-processing workflow in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. It's not the complete workflow, but I would want to do few basic changes to make this photograph look better.
The first step after Lens correction would be correcting white-balance. Most of the times 'Auto' option in the dropdown works. Please notice the highlighted part in above screen, where I just selected Auto option. I am sure that you would appreciate the change. Now I am closer to original colors. If you are not happy, there is always an option to play with temperature and tint sliders. I have increased the exposure a bit.
In this photograph I see dark region on the right bottom of the image. It's because of the intense shadows. Here I have used Graduated Filter to increase Exposure in this area. This tool is comparatively tricky to use, so I will be writing another post on Graduated Filter.
After increasing exposure in dark/shadow areas, we usually get more noise. You get more noise, if photograph was shot at high ISO. But Lightroom has great tools to deal with Luminance & Color noise. Above screen highlights/shows the noise.
Here I have used Details section of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom to correct noise. This is again a tricky tool to use and we should be very careful while using it. It's very important to understand the max limit of noise reduction we can do in a photograph. I will be posting a special post about Luminance & Color noise - what is the difference, why they appear in photographs, side-effect of overdoing the correction and ways to deal with that.
Here is the final result and it didn't take more than 5 minutes to achieve this result. Hopefully this post helped you to understand Lens Correction capabilities of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. Please do share your feedback in comments below.