Arbitrary Image Rotation Tip

I was recently scanning some photos when I took note of one crucial part of my workflow—rotating the images to level horizons and orient pictures straight and true. Most scans end up on the flatbed somewhat crooked, and rotating them is a necessary step in the process. Even if you’re not scanning it’s still an important step. If you’re anything like me you have a bit of difficultly holding the camera level. Thankfully there’s a simple Photoshop fix for lining things up precisely with straight lines and level horizons. Choose the ruler tool (hidden behind the eyedropper on the toolbar) and draw a rule line along a line that should be horizontal or vertical. (The horizon in a landscape photo, for instance, or a window in a room.) With the line drawn, choose Image>Rotate and select the Arbitrary option. Normally you might enter your own values here to rotate the image a particular number of degrees in the clockwise or counterclockwise direction, but because of that ruler line you drew the clockwise/counterclockwise direction will already be selected, as will the exact measurement necessary to rotate your image perfectly. Click okay and take a look at your straight and true composition. Simple cropping will eliminate any visible background canvas, and voila: you’re looking at a perfectly aligned image with only a few simple clicks of the mouse—and virtually no math at all. 

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