How to fix glare with perspective correction

Here’s an interesting little problem you often get when photographing paintings or other pictures. You get the camera perfectly perpendicular to the picture, only to find you’ve got horrible glare from the surface of the picture, completely ruining the shot.


So here’s the problem. I didn’t have a polarising filter with me, which might have solved the problem, and this shot is no good as it is. The only way to deal with glare like this is to change your shooting position so that you’re no longer seeing the reflection off the surface of the picture.


So that’s what I did. I moved a couple of paces to the left and the reflection disappeared – you can just see the last traces on the far left of the picture. The problem now, of course, is that I’ve got massive perspective distortion – but, unlike the glare, this is something I CAN fix in software…


I’m using Lightroom CC for this, but any other software which offers perspective correction and transformation tools would do just as well, for example DxO Optics Pro and ViewPoint, or Capture One Pro.

In this version of Lightroom (2015.6) the perspective correction tools have been split out into a new Transform panel (circled, right), and here there’s a new Guided mode which gives me the manual control I need.

All you have to do is drag out lines to align with what should be horizontal or vertical lines in the picture. You can correct verticals only with two vertical lines or, as I’ve done here, use two horizontal lines as well to correct the horizontal perspective too.

As you drag out these lines a magnified rectangular loupe (circled, left) helps you line them up precisely.


This solves my problem! I now have a perpendicular view of the picture, just like I wanted, but without the glare. You can see that there are some compromises where objects have 3D depth – we can’t see the full frame rebate on the right side because my shooting position put it out of view – but often this is a small price to pay to get perfectly perpendicular perspective.

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