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A Tutorial on the Editing Technique of Straightening Out Vertical Lines


Fire Added to Fireplaces 1

The perfect real estate photograph might not exist… prior to real estate photo editing. This is the reality and challenge all photographers face to deliver that gorgeous photo so that the listings can gain a good traffic of people who might have the prospective buyer within them. One of the constant struggles for photographers are distorted images and vertical lines. This ensues due to physical constraints surrounding the photoshoot. There might not be enough room to capture an exterior shot that puts it in a straight perspective as the street is narrow. There could be structures that are higher that what most tripods can reach to get a levelled view. Perhaps a wide-angle lens is required to capture the girthy width of the property, thereby compromising some curves along the shoot. The list goes on and on but luckily it doesn’t take much for this real estate photo editing technique to achieve corrected perspectives.

Real estate photo editing to straighten out vertical lines through Photoshop is simple yet powerful. The only watch out though, is that the image can experience some degradation in quality, so tread carefully in executing this real estate photo editing technique so the result will be undoubtedly stunning.

There are many ways to skin a cat. Putting some fire into a fireplace can be done through different methods as some software have built in templates for adding fire, where some can accommodate external images of fire which can be stitched into the image.

Straightening the Lines

Window Fire Added to Fireplaces 2

Straightening out the vertical lines in real estate photo editing has several ways you can choose from. Photoshop contains an extensive set of tools and techniques designed to make even the smallest and most unique changes happen. It is as if it was built to understand the shortcomings of a camera. Here, two techniques are presented so you can have a choice while getting a head start in discovering the alternative ways this real estate photo editing technique can be executed.

Technique 1: The Distortion Removal Tool Technique

1. Create a new layer containing the exact photo as a backup using Layer via Copy in the Layers Panel.

Having a back up layer is for safety purposes. The raw images must be preserved should anything go wrong since correcting vertical lines is a tricky task. The layers panel will have the option to create a new layer that contains the picture. Simply select Layer via Copy to make this happen.

2. Go to Filter >> Distort >> Lens Correction and select the icon with the buckled grid.

The next step is to go to the top and look for the filter option. Within the filter option, look for distort and a set of menus will pop out. Select Lens Correction and you will be taken into a new panel. This new panel is the core of this real estate photo editing technique. The first option which is the remove distort option is the easiest tool to use. It allows you to grab the photo at any point and straighten it from there as if it were dragging it closer to you to remove the uneven perspectives.

3. Either drag the image or use the toggle with ‘Remove Distortion’ and ‘Vertical Perspective’ in this order.

Dragging the image works just as well as adjusting the levels of distortion and perspective in the panel on the right. Use the sliding toggles to adjust the levels to your requirements and it will produce the same effect as dragging the image towards you.

4. Crop the edges of the image as they will not take on the distorted lines.

Distorting the image will not increase or decrease the surface area. It merely displaces the parts of the image that were affected by the straightening. Having said this, this real estate photo editing technique does not finish with the correction. The edges will become curved and warped, absorbing the impacts therefore cropping them to straighten them out is needed.

Technique 2: Isolated Warping Technique

1. Start by creating a new layer containing the exact photo as a backup using Layer via Copy in the Layers Panel.

Replicate the first step in the first technique for reasons of preserving the raw image. Simply go to the Layers Panel and create a layer with the option of Layer via Copy.

2. Select the area whose lines and perspectives you want to correct using the marquee tool.

The marquee tool is an enclosing tool that isolates the area whose vertical lines require straightening out. It is advised to select an area from an edge-to-edge point on the image as it will be easier to separate the part that requires rectification to the one that doesn’t. The beauty about this real estate photo editing technique is that you can select parts of the photo that need work, leaving the ones that don’t preserved.

3. Go to Edit >> Transform >> Warp.

On the top of the tool bar, select edit, look for transform, and from the selection of actions, select warp. Real estate photo editing might be tedious in ways like these, but it ensures that there are a multitude of options to work with to address specific needs.

4. Adjust the ensuing grid to stretch the photo.

There is a grid that will appear within the selected area which was defined by the marquee tool earlier. This grid will contain anchor points that can be adjust freely in all directions so rectifying any curved lines will be convenient. Watch out though, that as warps are corrected, there are resulting changes to resolution in specific areas of the image.

5. Crop the image edges again to remove any warped sides as a result of the adjustment.

The selected area that has been corrected will result into a stretched photo on the outer perimeter of the selection. It is important to cut these through cropping to remove them and create a straight edge to the photo.


It is one of the basics and most fundamental techniques to learn in real estate photo editing. There is the reality that properties cannot always be shot perfectly, and the perspectives will not always be straight given the trade-offs in technology that exists. Fortunately, the ability of software such as Photoshop is able to cater to these specific and localized requirements and being able to navigate your way through the how-to of these real estate photo editing techniques will definitely go a long way.