Today’s video came about as a result of a message sent into the Request Box and the request read:

“How to straighten the background of an image (eg. more for woodland) and keep the subject as shot”


The video tutorial for how to straighten backgrounds in photoshop can be found here:

Essentially, to complete this task we need to break the image down and work on it in a few different parts. Now, as always with Photoshop there are lots of ways to do the same job, but for me, this would be my process:

Step 1: Identify the zones

In most cases just looking at the image will highlight what needs to be changed if you are wanting to complete this process. In the video above, I opt to draw the areas on a blank layer to be super sure of what needs to change. I colour this in black for ease of reference.

Step 2: Split out the zones

Next, you need to duplicate your layer and create a mask that specifically selects the offending wonky zone. I use select and mask to select the subject, refine that further and then expand the mask manually to include the rest of the zone we want to keep safe.

Next, I just invert this mask and remove the top section of the mask.

Next, I remove the subject from this particular layer, which gives us a broader background area. Then, I heal that area to ensure it looks realistic and accurate.

Now, reorder the layers, so the Background is under the subject and foreground in the layers stack.

Step 3: Transform and correct the individual zone that is the problem

Now you need to transform the background (Command + T or Control + T on Windows) to straighten it up.

Heal and fix up the entire background layer as needed, sometimes this is not necessary.

Step 4: Repair the image

Finally, just blend the mask on the subject layer to get a nice transition from foreground to background.

Et Voila, job done!