How to align the horizon properly?


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May 21, 2004
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#1
Hi guys,

Sometimes when i am trying to take lanscapes using wide angles, i have problem trying to make the buildings/structures stand straight to make make look natural from a perspective. Any tips will be great!
 

May 21, 2004
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#2
the following is from megapixel.net (does not seems easy)
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Photos of vertical subjects are more difficult. The perspective distortion produced by a camera can easily lead one astray. One can pay attention to the vertical elements in the scene, and go to some length to ensure that they are straight in the frame, only to subsequently realize when looking at the photo that somehow something is amiss. Cityscapes are particularly difficult, and require an "overall" approach to deciding what is acceptably straight. Simply making sure the most dominant building in the frame is vertical will often cause the impression that other lesser buildings appera to be off vertical. With an "overall" approach, the general impression upon seeing the photo, will be that things are as they should be.
 

Royce

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Aug 25, 2003
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#3
rexus said:
Hi guys,

Sometimes when i am trying to take lanscapes using wide angles, i have problem trying to make the buildings/structures stand straight to make make look natural from a perspective. Any tips will be great!
Aligning the horizon and perspective distortion are 2 different things. You are talking about perspective distortion. There are a number of things you can do to try to resolve or minimise it:
* Use a perspective correcting lens - I've never used one myself so can't comment much here. I believe they are $$$.
* Shoot from a distance and use a zoom lens - this avoids the need to tilt the camera (which creates the perspective distortion). Not always possible to do.
* Correct it in PhotoShop or other software, but you will lose parts of your image so you have to take this into consideration when shooting.
 

Kit

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Jan 19, 2002
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#4
rexus said:
Hi guys,

Sometimes when i am trying to take lanscapes using wide angles, i have problem trying to make the buildings/structures stand straight to make make look natural from a perspective. Any tips will be great!
It comes with practice, practice and more practice. You really have to scrutinise your viewfinder and spend time composing. Its not unusual to spend about 30 mins just to get your lines straight. A 100% viewfinder with a grid focussing screen and a gear head helps a lot though and of course, you have to be in a position where its optically possible for the buildings to line up with your film plane. Would be good if you can show us some images and see what can be done from there.
 

May 21, 2004
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Bukit Batok
#5
Kit said:
It comes with practice, practice and more practice. You really have to scrutinise your viewfinder and spend time composing. Its not unusual to spend about 30 mins just to get your lines straight. A 100% viewfinder with a grid focussing screen and a gear head helps a lot though and of course, you have to be in a position where its optically possible for the buildings to line up with your film plane. Would be good if you can show us some images and see what can be done from there.
I am out now. Will post some later. Does that means that not every spot can be taken to align the buildings properly? I am always under the impression that its always possible.
 

Kit

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#6
rexus said:
I am out now. Will post some later. Does that means that not every spot can be taken to align the buildings properly? I am always under the impression that its always possible.
You got to take into consideration the height of the building/structure you are shooting and your distance from it. E.g. you obviously won't get straight lines if you photography OUB standing at the banks of Singapore river. Its just too close you have to tilt your camera upwards, that will give you converging lines problem.
 

Dennis

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Jan 24, 2002
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#7
If you are talking about really aligning your camera than use one of those hotshoe bubble level. Have one awhile back. Not easy to find but can get.
 

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