Quick Tip: How to Use Adaptive Wide Angle to Straighten Lines

As you may have noticed, lately, I’ve been experimenting a bit with long exposure photography. Recently, I shot this photo of Frank Gehry’s IAC building in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York. This building is beautifully designed, and is one of my favorite buildings in the city.

To get the shot, I placed my camera on a tripod, turned the camera straight into the air, and took the photo. Since the camera was positioned really close to the ground, I had a bit of trouble making sure that the lines were perfectly level and straight. So when I got home, I had to make a few minor adjustments to it in Photoshop using the Adaptive Wide Angle Filter. In this tutorial, I will show you how I was able to quickly straighten the lines using this awesome feature. Let’s get started!

Final Image Preview

1. Open Photo and Launch Filter

Step 1

Go to File > Open and open the image that you want to use.

I went ahead and added a few guides to illustrate how far from straight the lines were. While the photo was pretty close, it still needed a bit of work to make the image look exactly like I had in mind when I shot it.

Step 2

Now go to Filter > Adaptive Wide Angle to begin to straighten the lines.

2. Use Adaptive Wide Angle

Step 1

When the Adaptive Wide Angle dialogue opens, set Correction to Perspective, and if you want to, adjust the Crop Factor so that you can see the whole image.

Step 2

Now, select the Constraint Tool and draw a line as shown.

After you have drawn your first Constraint, Shift-Click the line, or right click on it and select Horizontal, to turn your line into a horizontal line.

Continue adding Horizontal Constraints until you have straightened all the horizontal lines.

Before you finish, add a Vertical Constraint using the same process

Your image should now look something like this.

3. Crop The Image

Step 1

Select the Crop Tool, Select 1:1 (Square)

Step 2

Position the image so that the vertical line is in the center of the image. Adjust the Crop so that there are no transparent pixels. Accept the Crop.


Adaptive Wide Angle is an incredibly useful feature in Photoshop, especially if you need to make quick adjustments to your architectural photos. I hope that you learned something from this quick tutorial and can use these techniques to improve your own imagery.