Straightening Crooked Photos in Camera Raw

Ever try straightening a crooked photo in Photoshop? Honestly, I've always thought it was kind of a pain in the neck. It involves using the Measure tool, remembering angles, arbitrary rotating, and cropping, and...well, you get the picture. That's why I was so psyched when the Straighten tool came about in Camera Raw 3 (with Photoshop CS2). It not only straightens the photo very quickly, but it also crops it to maintain the maximum rectangular size of the image. It saves me so much time and it's a lot easier to use.

Step One

Go ahead and open a photo in Camera Raw. As you look across Camera Raw's Toolbox at the top, you'll see the familiar Crop tool icon. Just to the right of that is the new Straighten tool (A). Click once on the tool to select it.


Step Two

Drag the tool along an area in the photo that should be horizontal or vertical. In this example, I'm just dragging across the horizon line.

Turbo Boost

Use the Straighten tool in Camera Raw to automatically straighten your photos before you even get into Photoshop.

Step Three

The Camera Raw preview window will update to show you the cropped rectangle. Keep in mind, though, you'll continue to see only the uncropped, unstraightened version of the photo in Camera Raw.

Even though the photo still looks crooked, it will be straightened when opened in Photoshop

Step Four

Press Open to open this image in Photoshop. At this point, Photoshop will show the straightened and cropped photo.

A lot of people get confused because Camera Raw doesn't actually remove the crop area of the photo from view. Don't forget that once you apply a crop or straighten to a photo, even though the Camera Raw preview doesn't show you the results, the settings are indeed saved and will update in the photo's preview in Bridge.

Turbo Boost

In Camera Raw, when using the Crop tool try pressing the Caps Lock key to switch the cursor to a crosshair. This makes it easier to see the cursor when cropping.

Photoshop CS2 Speed Clinic
The Photoshop CS2 Speed Clinic: Automating Photoshop to Get Twice the Work Done in Half the Time
ISBN: 0321441656
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2006
Pages: 113

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