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Lens Effects

Photoshop can duplicate the look of many different lenses, particularly some of those specialized optics that cost an arm and a leg, even though you probably wouldn’t use them more than a few times a year. For example, I happen to own two fisheye lenses (7.5mm and 16mm versions), a perspective control lens, several zoom lenses, and a massive 400mm telephoto. Other than the zooms, I don’t use any of these very often. I use even fewer lens add-ons with my digital cameras, relying on my favorite camera’s unadorned built-in lens 28mm to 200mm (35mm equivalent) for 95 percent of my shots. So, if I happen to encounter a shooting situation that can benefit from one of these limited-use lenses, I often end up taking a straight photograph and using Photoshop to apply the special effects.

Perspective Control

Most of the pictures we take, whether consciously or unconsciously, are taken head-on. In that mode, the back of the camera is parallel to the plane of our subject, so all elements of the subject, top to bottom, and side to side, are roughly the same distance from the film or digital sensor. Your problems begin when you tilt the camera up or down to photograph, say, a tree, tall building, or monument. The most obvious solution, stepping backwards far enough to take the picture with a longer lens or zoom setting while keeping the camera level, isn’t always available. You may find yourself with your back up against an adjacent building, or standing on the edge of a cliff.


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