Deke’s Techniques 334: Straightening and “Uncropping” a Photograph

In this week’s free Deke’s Techniques video, Deke takes a problematic but once-in-a-lifetime family vacation photo and "uncrops" in Photoshop: straightening the horizon, filling in the background, and even restoring missing detail. Here’s the starting point, a wonderful moment atop the pyramid at Coba, a Mayan ruined city in the Yucután peninsula:

An epic photograph with some fixable problems

If you’ve ever straightened a photograph in Photoshop, you know that the rules of geometry require that you’ll crop away some part of your image. So after straightening the horizon, Deke sets out to restore those areas. In the process, he also makes some room at the bottom of the image to allow for the restoration of his younger child’s toes. Along the way, you can see how he uses Content-Aware fill to fill in the gaps, then fine tunes with the Healing Brush to cover his tracks. 

For members of, Deke’s got an exclusive movie this week in which he actually restores the cropped off bit of Sam’s right foot. (The trick is to steal it from another photograph.) Here’s the finished project, suitable for commemorating this epic adventure:

Epic photo "uncropped" to restore missing detail

If you’re not a member of, you can get a free week’s trial to check out the members-only movie as well of the rest of Deke’s Techniques by going to and signing up.

Next entry:Deke’s Techniques 336: Drawing a Clenched Hand in Illustrator

Previous entry:A Hero In No Time: Time Lapse of Deke’s Latest Retro Superhero Project

  • CS3 one on one

    I followed your instructions in setting up for lesson files and dvd. there are buttons that do not highlight when using bridge. Rotate buttons not working, nor label buttons to rate photos or to group photos. It is hard to follow along lessons without everything working right. Any suggestions

    I know this is an older version of photoshop, but i ordered your book from amazon and decided to learn it. Thanks

    Orlando Lewellen

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