Have you ever wished there was some way of squaring up photos in Photoshop? Especially photos of drawings that you want to use for marketing or your portfolio?
Cheer up! There is!
One of the more annoying aspects of using the computer for artwork is getting perfectly square photographs. Whether you’re photographing potential subjects or finished paintings, no matter how precise the process or expensive the equipment, distortion will happen.
I can’t tell you how many photos I have of artwork that aren’t perfectly aligned.
Photograph Your Work so Squaring Up Isn’t Necessary
The best way to deal with this problem is to avoid it altogether. Hang your artwork flat against a wall. Put your camera (or phone) on a tripod, and align it perfectly with the artwork.
Position the camera far enough away from the artwork so you don’t end up with a ‘fish-eye affect.’ A photograph taken with a zoom lens from a short distance almost always turns out better than a photograph taken with a standard lens close to the artwork.
Fill the frame with your artwork, so no background shows around it. This won’t necessarily prevent photographic distortion, but it will help conceal it by eliminating drawing edges. If the camera is properly positioned, distortion should be eliminated.
For small works, consider scanning instead. This is about the only sure way to avoid distortion all the time, and you have the advantage of scanning images at various resolutions. I routinely scan images at between 300 and 600 dots per inch. If the images are very small, I scan them at 1200 dpi. The higher the dpi, the larger the resulting output image.
Squaring Up Photos in Photoshop
But let’s be honest. There are times when you just have to square up a photograph, even after you’ve taken all the best precautions.
Fortunately, the editor and founder of EmptyEasel has written a step-by-step tutorial showing you how to square up photos in Photoshop.
How to “Square Up” Photos of Your Art in Photoshop with Free Transform & Liquify is a great article. I hope you’ll take a moment or two to click over to EmptyEasel.com and give it a read.