Anyone who has been following my rambling posts for a few years knows I’m a graphic designer wannabe with a photo enhancement fetish which is massaged by far too many Mac utilities which fix this or that in my burgeoning collection of photos.
Here’s a new one and I’m willing to bet it’s not one you have on your Mac. It’s called Plumb-Bob. Uh huh. That’s the name and if you’ve done a little carpentry or scratched your head over a geometry problem, Plumb-Bob is the app to use on wayward photos on your Mac.
What it does is both simple and unique. It a perspective rectifier for your Mac which takes an odd shape from a photo and turns it into, well, the correct shape.
Here’s the simple example. Change the image on the left to the one on the right.
I see a long list of uses for an app that can do this. All you need is to see all four known key points in the photo. The app lets you map the image and change the perspective. This makes it a very good tool for designers, real estate agents, building contractors, or anyone who needs a metric photographic survey done from photos which cannot yield the proper perspective.
How it works is straightforward. Note the toolbar across the top and how the perspective points need to be visible within the photo frame. Open the photo in Plumb-Bob.
Plumb-Bob comes with four colored key pins. Drop them onto the appropriate spots on the photo; starting with the red pin, then green, then blue, finally orange. The points cannot cross from a color.
There’s a built-in magnifying tool to make sure you place the colored pin in the exact position on the photo.
Plumb-Bob is smart enough to handle measurements, too; just by using the key points and pins above.
Of course, the initial image is distorted to reach the proper rectangle but there’s a built-in option for that, too.
It’s likely that most such photos are taken with wider angle camera lenses and Plumb-Bob has an option to correct the lens barrel distortion problem that is common when altering such photos.
The lens correction tool is a simple panel of controls with a built-in preview so you can the see counter-distortion effects before applying it to the photo.
There’s also an image adjustment tool, a complete walk-through instruction video, and a step-by-step series on the developer’s website with a perfect case study so you can see exactly what to do with Plumb-Bob on a photo, and the actual steps.
Nicely done and fun to use. No, Plumb-Bob isn’t for the faint of heart, but the curious will learn to apply a few geometric principles to photos and do what you won’t find easy to do in any other Mac photo utility. Plumb-Bob is Mac App Store only, doesn’t have a try-before-you-buy option, but doesn’t cost much, either.