It looks like Apple is hard at work in making all of your iPhone shots of architecture look better. A recently published patent application for the iPhone reveals a method for automatically detecting and correcting your “leaning buildings” images.
Of course, if you don’t hold a camera level, a building is going to appear like it is leaning to one side or the other. However, another optical phenomenon that is not so obvious to many is that when your sensor plane is not parallel to your subject, it produces a perspective distortion. As a result, when you point your iPhone up to take a photo of a tall building, it appears to be leaning away from you in the image.
The new patent application proposes a software-based fix for these problems by analyzing vertical lines in the image, as well as the orientation of the camera, and then “leveling” the lines. This is something we do in Photoshop all the time; however, this is the first attempt that I’ve seen at in-camera tech for it.
Check out the complete patent application PDF for yourself, along with more images and diagrams, below.