Collapsing Building

Started 3 months ago | Questions
grisog New Member • Posts: 4
Collapsing Building
1

Why does this building look like its collapsing inward? (Leaning backwards)

I run into this problem whenever I'm fairly close to my subject.

What am I doing wrong and what should I be doing differently?

Sides leaning inwards

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D Cox Forum Pro • Posts: 27,602
Re: Collapsing Building

To avoid this effect, your sensor must be exactly vertical. That may mean you have to move further away from the building and crop the image a bit. In this particular case, however, you might only have needed to turn the camera for a vertical shot.

When the effect is slight, you can correct it in software, but not when it's as strong as in your example.

++++++++++++++++++++++

Your choice of ISO number and aperture are not ideal. For a shot like this, use f/5.6 or f/8, and ISO 100 or 200. There's plenty of light. Apertures of f/16 or smaller are for macro photography such as insects with flash, not for normal distances.

Don Cox

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Tom Axford Veteran Member • Posts: 7,486
Re: Collapsing Building
Jestertheclown
Jestertheclown Senior Member • Posts: 2,960
Re: Collapsing Building

It's a case of 'converging verticals.' Effectively, it's perspective.

It's caused by your shooting upwards and there's not much you can do about it at the shooting stage.

To avoid it as much as possible, you need to be able to keep the plane of your sensor parallel to the front of the building, although even then, you'll probably still see some distortion.

To some extent it can be removed in software but don't overdo it. Every time you stretch a something one way, something else is becoming distorted somewhere else!

"It's good to be . . . . . . . . . Me!"

RUcrAZ
RUcrAZ Veteran Member • Posts: 6,573
Re: Collapsing Building
1

The effect is normally to be expected, when using a wide angle lens and pointing it upward. But there is another issue that's interesting: The "EXIF" (camera data) indicates a very high ISO, for the obviously bright sunny day shot. Without any filtering, one would expect that, at a shutter of 1/100 sec, f-16, the ISO to be about 100. Closing the aperture to f-25, the ISO would be 1.5 stop higher, say 200 or at the most 400, not as indicated 3200. Was there a filter in front of your lens, which cut down the amount of light reaching the camera's sensor?

BrownieVet Senior Member • Posts: 3,283
Re: Collapsing Building
1

grisog wrote:

Why does this building look like its collapsing inward? (Leaning backwards)

The effect is called VANISHING POINT.
That is similar to looking at a long straight stretch of divided freeway where both sides of the divided Freeway converged to a point.

I run into this problem whenever I'm fairly close to my subject.

It is NOT a problem.  It is just the reality of PERSPECTIVE.

What am I doing wrong and what should I be doing differently?

One of the solution is to move as far away from the building as possible.
That will, of course, shrink the size of the building in your captured image.
Another solution is to take the photo from an elevated  spot as close as possible to the center of the building.
Use of long FL lens, e.g. Telephoto,  will restore the relative size of the building,  combined with taking the photo from elevated spot will partially mitigate the vanishing point effect.

Sides leaning inwards

ly close to my subject,

What am I doing wrong and how can I fixit?

The "AFTER THE FACT" fix is to use PERSPECTIVE CORRECTION in post processing as shown below.

Gerry Winterbourne Forum Pro • Posts: 18,250
Re: Collapsing Building
1

grisog wrote:

Why does this building look like its collapsing inward? (Leaning backwards)

As already said, it's ordinary perspective. Point the camera to the right sand things look smaller at the right-hand side than on the left.

This is true of anything and any way you look. Our brains "know" about this so they automatically correct for vertical perspective - so just standing in front of the building you'd see the uprights as vertical. But that's just a - very convenient - optical illusion.

I run into this problem whenever I'm fairly close to my subject.

It's not actually directly because you're close; but when you are close to a building you tend to point the camera upwards, and it's that upward tilt that causes the perspective effect.

What am I doing wrong and what should I be doing differently?

It's not really "wrong" but the solution to the problem is to make sure you keep the camera dead level. You'll probably need to step back or use a wider angle lens to get the building in, of course.

You'll get a lot of unwanted rubbish at the bottom of the frame: you just crop that away. This shows the full photo as taken; I cropped the section I've made pale away, leaving the square section at top as the finished photo.

The alternative, as already suggested, is to use "perspective correction" but it tends to look artificial when the original is as tapered as this.

Sides leaning inwards

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Gerry
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baloo_buc Forum Pro • Posts: 10,465
Re: Collapsing Building

It is better to point straight not upwards the camera to avoid the perspective distortion which is quite significant as you go wider (your lens is ultrawide).

The perspective distortion can be fixed but it is better to avoid it in the first place. Here is a 2 minute fix of your photo:

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Victor
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OP grisog New Member • Posts: 4
Re: Collapsing Building
1

Everyone, THANK YOU! Now I understand why its happening and what I need to do different.  Also, thanks for showing me how it can be fixed,

Autonerd Senior Member • Posts: 1,309
Re: Collapsing Building

grisog wrote:

Everyone, THANK YOU! Now I understand why its happening and what I need to do different. Also, thanks for showing me how it can be fixed,

In addition to what was said above, I think a wider angle (which you would be using if standing closer) will exacerbate the problem, as a wider angle distorts more. If you can get further back and zoom in, you'll have less rounding.

For photographing buildings, they used to use view cameras or "shift" lenses that could move relative to the film plane. Perspective correction in post is cheaper and easier.

Aaron

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rurikw
rurikw Veteran Member • Posts: 3,201
Re: Collapsing Building

grisog wrote:

Everyone, THANK YOU! Now I understand why its happening and what I need to do different. Also, thanks for showing me how it can be fixed,

Contrary to what some have said I consider your case mild to average as per the manipulated example which IMO looks fine though it's a question of taste and varies depending on how you want to depict the bldg. I routinely manipulate more extreme cases. That said it's generally sound advice to minimize the effect by putting as much distance between you and the building as possible. Frequently space is more restricted than in your case, particularly if you want to eliminate traffic signs, lamp posts etc. from in front of the building. Personally I prefer straightening in post to shooting straight and cropping (which is often impossible anyway). There will be some blurring in the upper parts but you retain resolution in the lower parts. OTOH I got only 16MP to work with and cropping is less work so it's up to what you have and what you want.

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D Cox Forum Pro • Posts: 27,602
Re: Collapsing Building
1

Autonerd wrote:

grisog wrote:

Everyone, THANK YOU! Now I understand why its happening and what I need to do different. Also, thanks for showing me how it can be fixed,

In addition to what was said above, I think a wider angle (which you would be using if standing closer) will exacerbate the problem, as a wider angle distorts more. If you can get further back and zoom in, you'll have less rounding.

For photographing buildings, they used to use view cameras or "shift" lenses that could move relative to the film plane. Perspective correction in post is cheaper and easier.

Aaron

Shift lenses are really just ultra-wide lenses (which the OP already has) with cropping in the camera. The film or plate still has to be kept exactly vertical to avoid converging verticals in the building.

Don Cox

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Jestertheclown
Jestertheclown Senior Member • Posts: 2,960
Re: Collapsing Building
1

D Cox wrote:

Autonerd wrote:

grisog wrote:

Everyone, THANK YOU! Now I understand why its happening and what I need to do different. Also, thanks for showing me how it can be fixed,

In addition to what was said above, I think a wider angle (which you would be using if standing closer) will exacerbate the problem, as a wider angle distorts more. If you can get further back and zoom in, you'll have less rounding.

For photographing buildings, they used to use view cameras or "shift" lenses that could move relative to the film plane. Perspective correction in post is cheaper and easier.

Aaron

Shift lenses are really just ultra-wide lenses (which the OP already has) with cropping in the camera. The film or plate still has to be kept exactly vertical to avoid converging verticals in the building.

Don Cox

I suspect that he meant "tilt-shift;" wide angle and flexible. I don't know about cropping in camera.

Not cheap.

"It's good to be . . . . . . . . . Me!"

rurikw
rurikw Veteran Member • Posts: 3,201
Re: Collapsing Building

D Cox wrote:

Autonerd wrote:

grisog wrote:

Everyone, THANK YOU! Now I understand why its happening and what I need to do different. Also, thanks for showing me how it can be fixed,

In addition to what was said above, I think a wider angle (which you would be using if standing closer) will exacerbate the problem, as a wider angle distorts more. If you can get further back and zoom in, you'll have less rounding.

For photographing buildings, they used to use view cameras or "shift" lenses that could move relative to the film plane. Perspective correction in post is cheaper and easier.

Aaron

Shift lenses are really just ultra-wide lenses (which the OP already has) with cropping in the camera. The film or plate still has to be kept exactly vertical to avoid converging verticals in the building.

Shift lenses have a larger image circle and a mechanism to move the frame within the image circle so that it gives the desired view while keeping the sensor plane vertical. Most commonly the lens is shifted upwards (or the sensor downwards) so you can get the whole building in the frame, yet leave out most of the lawn, road, parking lot or whatever irrelevant foreground you want to eliminate. There's no cropping of the sensor area involved as opposed to when cropping or keystoning with a WA lens so quite different beasts.

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D Cox Forum Pro • Posts: 27,602
Re: Collapsing Building

rurikw wrote:

D Cox wrote:

Autonerd wrote:

grisog wrote:

Everyone, THANK YOU! Now I understand why its happening and what I need to do different. Also, thanks for showing me how it can be fixed,

In addition to what was said above, I think a wider angle (which you would be using if standing closer) will exacerbate the problem, as a wider angle distorts more. If you can get further back and zoom in, you'll have less rounding.

For photographing buildings, they used to use view cameras or "shift" lenses that could move relative to the film plane. Perspective correction in post is cheaper and easier.

Aaron

Shift lenses are really just ultra-wide lenses (which the OP already has) with cropping in the camera. The film or plate still has to be kept exactly vertical to avoid converging verticals in the building.

Shift lenses have a larger image circle and a mechanism to move the frame within the image circle so that it gives the desired view while keeping the sensor plane vertical. Most commonly the lens is shifted upwards (or the sensor downwards) so you can get the whole building in the frame, yet leave out most of the lawn, road, parking lot or whatever irrelevant foreground you want to eliminate.

That is cropping of the image in the camera. Only a part of the image circle is used.

There's no cropping of the sensor area involved as opposed to when cropping or keystoning with a WA lens so quite different beasts.

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petrochemist Senior Member • Posts: 2,806
Re: Collapsing Building

Jestertheclown wrote:

D Cox wrote:

Autonerd wrote:

grisog wrote:

Everyone, THANK YOU! Now I understand why its happening and what I need to do different. Also, thanks for showing me how it can be fixed,

In addition to what was said above, I think a wider angle (which you would be using if standing closer) will exacerbate the problem, as a wider angle distorts more. If you can get further back and zoom in, you'll have less rounding.

For photographing buildings, they used to use view cameras or "shift" lenses that could move relative to the film plane. Perspective correction in post is cheaper and easier.

Aaron

Shift lenses are really just ultra-wide lenses (which the OP already has) with cropping in the camera. The film or plate still has to be kept exactly vertical to avoid converging verticals in the building.

Don Cox

Not all shift lenses are wide angles Both Nikon & Canon make FF models with focal lengths of 85-90mm see PC-E Nikkor 85mm f/2.8D   TS-E 90mm f/2.8

I suspect that he meant "tilt-shift;" wide angle and flexible. I don't know about cropping in camera.

Not cheap.

Most lenses tat allow shift, also allow tilt but certainly not all. Shift is the only bit that's needed for controlling perspective in camera.

There are adapters for mirrorless cameras that allow lenses of larger formats to be shifted to create relatively cheap shift lenses, but the tilt only variety is considerably cheaper & more useful.

Still cheaper to do it in post

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rurikw
rurikw Veteran Member • Posts: 3,201
Re: Collapsing Building

D Cox wrote:

rurikw wrote:

D Cox wrote:

Autonerd wrote:

grisog wrote:

Everyone, THANK YOU! Now I understand why its happening and what I need to do different. Also, thanks for showing me how it can be fixed,

In addition to what was said above, I think a wider angle (which you would be using if standing closer) will exacerbate the problem, as a wider angle distorts more. If you can get further back and zoom in, you'll have less rounding.

For photographing buildings, they used to use view cameras or "shift" lenses that could move relative to the film plane. Perspective correction in post is cheaper and easier.

Aaron

Shift lenses are really just ultra-wide lenses (which the OP already has) with cropping in the camera. The film or plate still has to be kept exactly vertical to avoid converging verticals in the building.

Shift lenses have a larger image circle and a mechanism to move the frame within the image circle so that it gives the desired view while keeping the sensor plane vertical. Most commonly the lens is shifted upwards (or the sensor downwards) so you can get the whole building in the frame, yet leave out most of the lawn, road, parking lot or whatever irrelevant foreground you want to eliminate.

That is cropping of the image in the camera. Only a part of the image circle is used.

Of course, in that sense all images are cropped as they record only part of the IC. But with a shift lens you get the full AoV and resolution of your sensor whereas with a normal WA lens you'd lose some.

There's no cropping of the sensor area involved as opposed to when cropping or keystoning with a WA lens so quite different beasts.

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ken_in_nh Senior Member • Posts: 1,100
Re: Collapsing Building

This discussion is interesting, but nothing new to anyone who used to use a view camera.

For you youngsters, view cameras were generally 4x5" sheet film cameras that allowed shifting and tilting of the front lens board (so thus the lens) and sometimes the back too.  The photographer has many axes of control with the best of them, including rising fronts and various rotations.  Of course, this style of photography is not for folks in a hurry!

Linhof and Horseman were major manufacturers.  And these things are still being made, because they offer unique advantages for certain kinds of studio and technical photography.  You can get digital backs too, if you can afford them!

Christof21 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,036
Re: Collapsing Building

Hello,

Correction perspective is a perfect correction.

I mean It is exactly the same result as using a wider angle lens, pointing straight and cropping, except that you loose less resolution ! So I recommend post processing over using a wider angle lens ofc.

Shift lenses can give better result, but perspective correction is almost as good. Note that shift lenses do not really have less distorsion compared to wide angle lenses, all are exactly the same (after correction) .

The other alternative is to step back. If you use perspective correction, you will need less correction.

Again, perspective correction is a very good solution. I personnaly think that shift lenses are not really needed in most cases, save your money

D Cox Forum Pro • Posts: 27,602
Re: Collapsing Building

petrochemist wrote:

Jestertheclown wrote:

D Cox wrote:

Autonerd wrote:

grisog wrote:

Everyone, THANK YOU! Now I understand why its happening and what I need to do different. Also, thanks for showing me how it can be fixed,

In addition to what was said above, I think a wider angle (which you would be using if standing closer) will exacerbate the problem, as a wider angle distorts more. If you can get further back and zoom in, you'll have less rounding.

For photographing buildings, they used to use view cameras or "shift" lenses that could move relative to the film plane. Perspective correction in post is cheaper and easier.

Aaron

Shift lenses are really just ultra-wide lenses (which the OP already has) with cropping in the camera. The film or plate still has to be kept exactly vertical to avoid converging verticals in the building.

Don Cox

Not all shift lenses are wide angles Both Nikon & Canon make FF models with focal lengths of 85-90mm see PC-E Nikkor 85mm f/2.8D TS-E 90mm f/2.8

Even these cover a wider angle of view than ordinary 90mm lenses. What makes a lens "wide angle" is the image circle diameter relative to the focal length. For example, I have a 60mm lens that covers 5x4 inch as a wide angle.

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