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Old 05-06-2007, 07:25 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 822

Too bad they don't like the shot, I think it's pretty cool, in an electric kool-aid acid sort of way!

I find that a lot of my shots are about 1 degree out of level, so my right shoulder must droop or something. As seen through the finder, 1 degree is hard to spot, but it sure shows up on the screen. A book publisher friend told me that he has to level nearly every shot he gets submitted, so it's a pretty common problem.

The center of the photo is the area where perspective distortion will be the least, so I pick an architectural object, or something that I'm pretty sure is going to have actual verticals and use that to level the shot. If the only verticals are near the edges, I overlay a grid and try to get the lines that should be vertical leaning equally, but in opposite directions. I then go into distort/lens correction and fix the lens distortion.

Be aware that the train, rails, telephone and electric poles, catenary poles, switch stands, signs, trees and old buildings may all be leaning. Often they are all leaning at different angles and a shot that is truly level may not look it. In that case, I go with what looks best to the eye. If the shot is level but doesn't look right, I don't think trying to convince the screeners is the way to go. Make it look good, or give up.

Michael Allen
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