To recompose, where to anchor your pivot point.

Started Apr 24, 2013 | Discussions thread
Olaf Ulrich Contributing Member • Posts: 955
Re: To recompose, where to anchor your pivot point.

looper1234 wrote:
To my understanding, recomposing means focus at a said distance, and while keeping this distance constant, re-frame the picture.

Basically, yes. However, the hard part thereof is to keep the distance constant. In most cases, re-framing will change the distance in an unexpected way. It usually will become slightly longer so the focus will fall behind the point originally focused at.


looper1234 wrote:
... I want to know which point of the camera to pivot the rotation.

In order to minimise the focus shift, you should rotate around a point as far behind the camera as possible. In fact, the perfect pivot point, in theory, would be at an infinite distance behind the photographer because this would lead to no focus shift at all. That's equivalent to shifting camera laterally along a line perdendicular to the optical axis, not rotating it at all. The closer the pivot point is to the camera, the worse the focus shift will be.

When standing on both feet, shooting some distant subject with the hand-held camera in landscape orientation, and re-composing by rotating the camera horizontally, then most photographers will rotate not the camera but their own body. In fact, that's a fairly good pivot because it's somewhat behind the camera, hence reducing the focus shift.

Of course, rotating around a point that is not identical to the entry pupil's center will lead to a perspective shift. But—that doesn't matter in this context! After all, prior to re-framing, you're just metering the distance, not composing the picture.

When rotating for a multi-shot panorama then you must rotate around the entry pupil's center or you're going to run into stitching issues later. But rotating the camera just to re-compose for a single frame after focusing is an entirely different thing.

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