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Thread: Taking straight photographs

  1. #1
    Member Tantalize's Avatar
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    Default Taking straight photographs

    I'm trying to take a picture of a paintings and wondering if there a way to take it in a way that the edge of the photograph is straight?

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    Moderator ortega's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking straight photographs

    camera must be perpendicular to the painting
    and dead centre

    cannot use WA lens, i recommend Nikkor 60mm micro

  3. #3

    Default Re: Taking straight photographs

    you can also change focusing screen with grid lines, it helps alot.

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    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking straight photographs

    If you're talking about the parralax error, then you may need a tilt shift lens or shoot from dead centre and correct the slight distortions in CS.
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    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking straight photographs

    Quote Originally Posted by ortega View Post
    camera must be perpendicular to the painting
    and dead centre

    cannot use WA lens, i recommend Nikkor 60mm micro
    Think you meant parallel.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Taking straight photographs

    Assuming if the painting is hung on a wall, then a tripod and a spirit level are necessary. More care must be given if paiting is left standing on floor and resting on wall; in this case the tilt must be corrected by having the lens pointing perpendicularly (or sensor plane at parallel) at the centre of the painting. Some perspective corrections can also be done on Photoshop. Good luck.
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    Moderator ortega's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking straight photographs

    Quote Originally Posted by Kit View Post
    Think you meant parallel.
    you are not wrong
    the sensor must be parallel
    but the camera must be Perpendicular

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pe...r-coloured.svg
    see image from link above

    A is the camera
    B is the painting or artwork
    C-D is the wall

  8. #8
    Moderator ortega's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking straight photographs

    Quote Originally Posted by TigerOyster View Post
    you can also change focusing screen with grid lines, it helps alot.
    not sure about other cameras but my camera has grid lines which can be switched on or off
    check your camera user guide

  9. #9

    Default Re: Taking straight photographs

    Use a view camera.

  10. #10
    Senior Member engrmariano's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking straight photographs

    use PS to correct the angle or distortion.

  11. #11

    Smile Re: Taking straight photographs

    for a start, ensure you use a tripod with a head(both with spirit level).

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    Moderator ortega's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking straight photographs

    Quote Originally Posted by Dream Merchant View Post
    Use a view camera.
    the most pro option

  13. #13

    Default Re: Taking straight photographs

    Quote Originally Posted by Tantalize View Post
    I'm trying to take a picture of a paintings and wondering if there a way to take it in a way that the edge of the photograph is straight?
    1. find lens with minimal distortion (barrel or pincushion), if cannot, then make sure you know how to correct, and shoot so that you will correct without cropping away parts of painting.

    2. make sure your lens fits the setting (i.e. amount of space) where you have to take the photo of painting.

    3. be dead centre of painting, both horizontally and vertically.

    4. take photo with camera sensor exactly parallel to painting's verticality

    5. take photo with camera sensor exactly parallel to painting's horizontality

    6. tada.

    alternatively, with some mild errors you can correct in photoshop, but image quality will be affected, and you might need to crop, so shoot for cropping.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Taking straight photographs

    Quote Originally Posted by ortega View Post
    the most pro option
    Also the easiest.

    But most likely, not many have access or know how to use a technical camera.

    Using the detailed set-up previously described, there's a very easy way to set up a normal camera to ensure that one's camera is almost perfectly squared on both planes. A grid reference in the viewfinder helps, but is not necessary.

    It's so easy, quick and cheap, it's mind-boggling. Not to taunt TS, but let's see if anyone can figure it out without googling.

  15. #15
    Moderator ortega's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking straight photographs

    Quote Originally Posted by Dream Merchant View Post
    Also the easiest.

    But most likely, not many have access or know how to use a technical camera.

    Using the detailed set-up previously described, there's a very easy way to set up a normal camera to ensure that one's camera is almost perfectly squared on both planes. A grid reference in the viewfinder helps, but is not necessary.

    It's so easy, quick and cheap, it's mind-boggling. Not to taunt TS, but let's see if anyone can figure it out without googling.
    er.... it's called a flat bed scanner

  16. #16
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking straight photographs

    Quote Originally Posted by Dream Merchant View Post
    Also the easiest.

    But most likely, not many have access or know how to use a technical camera.

    Using the detailed set-up previously described, there's a very easy way to set up a normal camera to ensure that one's camera is almost perfectly squared on both planes. A grid reference in the viewfinder helps, but is not necessary.

    It's so easy, quick and cheap, it's mind-boggling. Not to taunt TS, but let's see if anyone can figure it out without googling.
    Chey, this simple method I already use it 20years ago, just put a piece a mirror lor.

    it is not a rocket science, anybody have secondary school physics level can understand why.
    Last edited by catchlights; 19th June 2009 at 09:12 AM.
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  17. #17

    Default Re: Taking straight photographs

    Quote Originally Posted by ortega View Post
    er.... it's called a flat bed scanner


    Trust Ortega to come up with the mo-tech way of doing it! I did mention 'normal camera' mah!

  18. #18

    Default Re: Taking straight photographs

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    Chey, this simple method I already use it 20years ago, just put a piece a mirror lor.

    it is not a rocket science, anybody have secondary school physics level can understand why.
    Alamak!

    I should have put the condition 'Catchlights is not allowed to answer' because I know he definitely knows the answer!

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Taking straight photographs

    Quote Originally Posted by Tantalize View Post
    I'm trying to take a picture of a paintings and wondering if there a way to take it in a way that the edge of the photograph is straight?
    first check that the edges are straight and parallel.

    Too many times photographers and art directors got stucked just because the orginal itself is not straight and parallel.
    I get paid more shooting part time ...... damn, I should find more time to shoot part time

  20. #20
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking straight photographs

    Quote Originally Posted by Dream Merchant View Post
    Alamak!

    I should have put the condition 'Catchlights is not allowed to answer' because I know he definitely knows the answer!
    back in the 80's when there is no scanner, we still able to charge $15~$35 per piece for doing simple flat copywork, things are rather easy when we can use a copy stand, just use a carpenter spirit level on the board and a spirit level on 120 camera back or 35mm hotshoe, but works get complicated when the art work too large, need to paste on the wall or place on the floor.

    so I get headache of how to get perfect perpendicular, and later I discover I can just simply use a mirror to check perpendicular, and it works wonders. And strangely, I can't find this method mention in all the photography books I came across, when I share this tips to other photographers, and they disbelieve it at first, but proved it is a simple method once they try it out.
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