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Thread: Taking photos with horizon

  1. #1

    Default Taking photos with horizon

    During my first attempt on taking sunset at the beach with my 400D, i realised that most of my photos came out with a slinted horizon. Can someone provide me with some advise on how to overcome this problem?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking photos with horizon

    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Taking photos with horizon

    rotate image > arbutrary in photoshop, then crop
    Shahrul Esa

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    Senior Member denniskee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking photos with horizon

    if sunrise, because of darkness, horizon slant may be a problem and bubble level can help.

    but if sunset, there is still light and you should be able to notice if the horizon is slanted in you view finder or test shot.

    but luckily for me, both my tripod (055pro) and ball head (488rc0) comes eqpt with bubble level, there is a 3rd bubble level in the ball head when in portrait orientation.
    Last edited by denniskee; 10th May 2008 at 12:57 AM.
    photography makes one sees things from all angles.

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    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking photos with horizon

    I turn on my viewfinder's gridlines...
    Helps with composition (rule of thirds) and also alignment...



    Quote Originally Posted by denniskee View Post
    if sunrise, because of darkness, horizon slant may be a problem and bubble level can help.

    but if sunset, there is still light and you should be able to notice if the horizon is slanted in you view finder or test shot.

    but luckily for me, both my tripod (055pro) and ball head (488rc0) comes eqpt with bubble level, there is a 3rd bubble level in the ball head when in portrait orientation.

  6. #6
    Senior Member giantcanopy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking photos with horizon

    Gridlines for me. Easy to get the shot right with minimal tilt. Bad tilt needs lots of cropping on PS.

    When making pan shots i got the time to use the spirit level to adjust

    Ryan

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    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking photos with horizon

    situation like this, the horizon is not very define, or the scene are too dark.

    bubble spirit level is the best tool, not only telling you is your horizon level, it also able tell your is film/sensor panel vertical.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking photos with horizon

    Quote Originally Posted by denniskee View Post
    but luckily for me, both my tripod (055pro) and ball head (488rc0) comes eqpt with bubble level, there is a 3rd bubble level in the ball head when in portrait orientation.
    The ones on the tripod are almost useless because the whole set up might not even be sitting on 100% flat ground to begin with. Its a pain to get them all aligned. The most efficient way is still to have a hotshow mounted level. This way, you don't have to dabble with the tripod, just make minute adjustments to the camera position.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Taking photos with horizon

    Quote Originally Posted by Kit View Post
    The ones on the tripod are almost useless because the whole set up might not even be sitting on 100% flat ground to begin with. Its a pain to get them all aligned. The most efficient way is still to have a hotshow mounted level. This way, you don't have to dabble with the tripod, just make minute adjustments to the camera position.
    Thanks everyone.... the hotshoe might be my best bet for now, esp since i dont own a tripod yet...

  10. #10
    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking photos with horizon

    Quote Originally Posted by BlurQueen78 View Post
    Thanks everyone.... the hotshoe might be my best bet for now, esp since i dont own a tripod yet...
    No no no!!! Without a sturdy tripod, the level is just as useless. Don't think for a second you can handhold and keep the 2 bubbles in place.

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    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking photos with horizon

    Quote Originally Posted by BlurQueen78 View Post
    Thanks everyone.... the hotshoe might be my best bet for now, esp since i dont own a tripod yet...
    Quote Originally Posted by Kit View Post
    No no no!!! Without a sturdy tripod, the level is just as useless. Don't think for a second you can handhold and keep the 2 bubbles in place.
    that's right, how you keep an eye on the level and compose your framing at the same time?

    I don't think anyone can use hands to keep the bubble in place, unless he/she is a robot.
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    Senior Member denniskee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking photos with horizon

    Quote Originally Posted by Kit View Post
    The ones on the tripod are almost useless because the whole set up might not even be sitting on 100% flat ground to begin with. Its a pain to get them all aligned. The most efficient way is still to have a hotshow mounted level. This way, you don't have to dabble with the tripod, just make minute adjustments to the camera position.
    agree with you if TS is shooting 1 shot in 1 direction.

    if you are doing pano shots, than leveling of the tripod is critical, than there is an additional step of ensuring the camera is leveled when rotated.
    Last edited by denniskee; 10th May 2008 at 04:36 PM.
    photography makes one sees things from all angles.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Taking photos with horizon

    Quote Originally Posted by Kit View Post
    No no no!!! Without a sturdy tripod, the level is just as useless. Don't think for a second you can handhold and keep the 2 bubbles in place.
    Oh ya... wat was I thinking.. ? ..... oops.. see blur blur again..
    So if I dont have a tripod, whats the best way to overcome the problem of slanted horizon? Any suggestion? I dont think my 400D has the gridline function..... either that or I blur blur again...hehe....

  14. #14

    Default Re: Taking photos with horizon

    See if Orient Photo has a focusing screen for your cam with the grids. If they do have, they can help you install.

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    Default Re: Taking photos with horizon


  16. #16

    Default Re: Taking photos with horizon

    Quote Originally Posted by AsPiRiN92 View Post
    May sound a little snobbish here, but I'm trying to see how I can sharpen my skills .... so trying not to depend on editing of photos... ... guess the other way to look at it is that I'm just plain lazy.... hehe..

    But thanks anyways!

  17. #17

    Default Re: Taking photos with horizon

    Quote Originally Posted by Dream Merchant View Post
    See if Orient Photo has a focusing screen for your cam with the grids. If they do have, they can help you install.
    Do you know what they need to do to install? Will installation of this cause any issues with the AF of the cam?

  18. #18
    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking photos with horizon

    If you are handholding, can always use the focussing points as reference. They are all lined up across the viewfinder.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Taking photos with horizon

    In most cam models, no, because the AF sensors do not read off the focusing screen. Metering might be affected a bit, but generally, for the greater advantages an after-market screen offers, and the ease of exp compensation in most modern cameras, it's a no-brainer for me.

    Kit, that's a great suggestion! One thing a tog could do, while using whatever visual aids is to 'rock' the camera in a circular motion to deliberately tilt the horizon, and when minimal visual tilt is achieved, hold and hoot!

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    Default Re: Taking photos with horizon

    Quote Originally Posted by BlurQueen78 View Post
    May sound a little snobbish here, but I'm trying to see how I can sharpen my skills .... so trying not to depend on editing of photos... ... guess the other way to look at it is that I'm just plain lazy.... hehe..

    But thanks anyways!
    Why don't you post your photo to see how slanted your horizon is? Sometimes you can be too critical of your photos.

    You just have to be aware of your composition when taking the photograph and approximate your horizon. any line from pt a to b is a straight line, you need to know your viewfinder and approximate where the left & right point is at the same dist from the corners. Having a grid line in your viewfinder only helps if you always shoot with horizon at those lines.

    Just practise more and you will get the hang of it. like they say in martial arts, be one with your camera......practise.practise.practise.
    "Photography is an austere and blazing poetry of the real" -Ansel Adams

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