Now it was time to fix the distorted angles in the scene created by photographing the wide scene with vertical lines from a close shooting position and by using a 17mm setting on my 17-40mm lens on my full-frame digital SLR.
I selected the entire image area (Select > All). Then I went to Image > Transform > Distort and pushed in the top left and right anchor points until the doors and windows were vertical.
At first, I selected Image > Transform > Perspective and pulled the anchor points outward, thinking that technique would fix the problem because the perspective was off. It kind of worked, but I found that using Distort worked much better, again, as you can see in the opening image.
After having all that fun getting the colors to look vibrant in my image, I decided, as I often do, to see what a black-and-white version of the image would look like. After flattening the image, I went to Enhance > Color > Remove Color. That created a black-and-white image, a pretty flat black-and-white image. For a more vibrant image, I went to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Brightness/Contrast and boosted the contrast until I was pleased with the result. Try playing around with the contrast control the next time you create a black-and-white image in Elements. (In Photoshop CS3, use Image > Adjustment > Channel Mixer and click Monochrome. Or, better yet, create a great black-and-white image in Camera Raw.)
As a final touch to my black-and-white image, I cropped out the areas that I thought didn't add anything to the image. Then, I added a Brush frame using onOne Software's Photo Frame Pro 3. After that, I went back to my color image and applied the same cropping and frame.
Summing up, this column is about the image-making process: seeing a picture opportunity, making a picture on site and then transforming a straight-out-of-the-camera shot into an image that's seen in the mind's eye.
Rick Sammon (www.ricksammon.com) has published 27 books, including his latest: Idea to Image, Rick Sammon's Complete Guide to Digital Photography 2.0, Rick Sammon's Travel and Nature Photography and Rick Sammon's Digital Imaging Workshops. He has produced a DVD for Photoshop Elements users, Three-Minute Digital Makeover, and three DVDs for Photoshop CS users: Awaken the Artist Within, Close Encounters with Camera Raw and Photoshop CS2 for the Outdoor and Travel Photographer.