Is this picture level?

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
Dan Hudson
Dan Hudson Contributing Member • Posts: 726
Re: It's complicated...

PGH423 wrote:

beatboxa wrote:

PGH423 wrote:

Something is throwing me off. It is shifted slightly counter clockwise (-1.10 in Lightroom) from the original. Sometimes when I look at it, I think it needs to be shifted more counterclockwise but I'm not really sure. The picture is showing flooding a little outside Pittsburgh yesterday.

There is a lot going on here. Think like this:

  • The further distance is to the left. This means that anything above the horizon will 'tilt' anti-clockwise, while anything below will 'tilt' clockwise
  • In addition, your camera position is above the horizon--so you may be tilting the camera slightly downward to 'center' the waterline. This makes objects near the top (tilt) outward toward the corners.
  • The scene has natural complications. The mist over the water, the not-exactly-vertical trees, etc.
  • There's also lens distortion, correction, etc.

In short, that waterline shouldn'tbe exactly horizontal the way this was shot. This is where tilt-shift photography can come into play.

That explains a lot. You guys are probably right that I was tilting the camera down though I don't remember. It definitely wasn't intentional. Is it better not to do that?

Also, from an aesthetic perspective, I'm curious if people here think the bench adds to or detracts from the picture.

The bench whether actually level or not needs to be in this image to give it a center of interest or focal point. It is well placed as to satisfy the "rule of thirds". Without the bench, you have a vast emptiness covering the entire image.

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Christian Amateur Photographer
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