Old 07-18-2015, 02:25 PM   #1
Paul Ash
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Default Some perspective needed on perspective

This picture (1403601) has been rejected twice for being unlevel. It was shot on a wide angle lens (16mm on APS-C) hence the inward curving lines at he edges. This distortion cannot - as far as I am aware, and I have tried - be corrected in Photoshop without losing all the elements that make the picture, such as the mill chimneys.

Of course, explaining this in the "notes to screeners" (do they ever get read?) is of no use.

Any advice?

Thanks

Paul
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Old 07-18-2015, 03:26 PM   #2
Dennis A. Livesey
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With wide angles such as this one, what always works for me is finding a horizontal or vertical in the middle of the frame to level. The rest of the image then naturally falls into place.
Once that is done, I would also consider perspective correction in PS. I find having all verticals actually vertical more pleasing.
Now these actions might cause clipping of desired elements such as the top of the smoke stacks. Your choices then are: leaving as is, more drastic PS manipulation or going back and shooting over.
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Old 07-18-2015, 03:27 PM   #3
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Obviously they needed to make room for more less-than-great shots of 611.
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Old 07-19-2015, 03:18 PM   #4
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Interesting shot, and the vertical perspective distortion is not terrible IMHO. In this situation, I would follow Dennis' advice and carefully level something in the center of the frame with the grid in PS. There are plenty of photos on RP with vertical distortion at the edges that is worse than what I see here.

A key thing to remember when shooting a super-wide lens is that you do need to shoot wider than you intend the photo to be, because you will lose something at the edges in the perspective correction.....and I'm with Dennis. I always try to do that....if I can. In the case of this image, if I couldn't have stepped back, I probably would have aimed a bit higher. You have a space at the bottom of the image that isn't really adding anything, but a tad more sky at the top would make it more pleasing. In this case, the APS-C sensor wasn't helping you, because you couldn't take full advantage of that super-wide lens. Putting full-frame lenses on crop-sensor cameras works awesomely when the lens is a telephoto. Unfortunately, wide angle glass is a lot less useful. I have never understood how Canon shooters existed for years with their 24-105 f/4 Ls on crop cameras.....but I digress.

Still, I think you can do something with this. Get the center level, and play with a little shadow reduction to lighten up some of the truly dark areas just a tad.
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Old 07-19-2015, 08:06 PM   #5
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Well, here's the top center. The framework is as plumb as it gets.
Maybe the eagle-eyed screener wants the stack to the right a gnat's hair CW?
Considering that shots off by 5 degrees have been accepted, this is ridiculous.
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Old 07-19-2015, 08:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinM View Post
A key thing to remember when shooting a super-wide lens
Kevin makes lots of great points, but to be clear, this isn't superwide. 17mm (from the EXIF) on a Fuji X-Pro 1 is about 26mm full frame, if I am doing my calculation correctly. Lots of people have 17-xx zoom lenses on their crop sensor cameras.

As the lens mounted was a 16-55, the shot could have been taken a wee bit wider, thus allowing for a bit of the adjustments that Kevin discussed.
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Old 07-19-2015, 08:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinM View Post
In the case of this image, if I couldn't have stepped back, I probably would have aimed a bit higher. You have a space at the bottom of the image that isn't really adding anything, but a tad more sky at the top would make it more pleasing.
Very true, but there is a trade-off. The more level the camera, the less the distortion at the sides, so the more you point up towards the sky, the more adjustment is subsequently needed - should you want to make that adjustment, which is a matter of taste.
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Old 07-20-2015, 02:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Ash View Post
This distortion cannot - as far as I am aware, and I have tried - be corrected in Photoshop without losing all the elements that make the picture, such as the mill chimneys.
It can't?

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Old 07-20-2015, 06:14 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRMDC View Post
Very true, but there is a trade-off. The more level the camera, the less the distortion at the sides, so the more you point up towards the sky, the more adjustment is subsequently needed - should you want to make that adjustment, which is a matter of taste.

This is the VERY reason I bought a Nikon D800E. Not that the camera makes any difference at all, but I can use the excellent Nikon 24mm PC-E on it. The shift movement has solved these problems for me. I almost switched to Canon at one point so I could use their 17mm T/S, but when my wife heard me mentioning that she slapped me repeatedly and I came to my senses. Anyway, before I bought a DSLR I was shooting 4x5 for about half my shots. I really missed the movements on my DX cameras.

You can approximate what a shift lens does, as described already. Use an even wider lens, level the camera in the X and Y axis (I use a torpedo,) take the shot, and crop off the bottom. It's a "poor man's" shift lens and this does work. Anyway, the shot you posted actually looks quite nice to me. I wouldn't have rejected it.


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Old 07-20-2015, 10:27 AM   #10
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Guys, thanks very much - a lot of useful advice here. Thank-you.

Jim: you got me! I must be doing something wrong in PS because when I try adjusting the distortion, I end up with a horribly cropped image with all the fun stuff missing. Back to school for me!

Reshooting is not that simple: the mill is 400 miles from my front door. That said, I am planning to drive back down on Friday for a day and a night on the footplate. This is the last full week of steam at the mill and when those fires are dropped on the 28th, it will be the very end of 150 years of commercial steam locomotive operations in South Africa.
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Old 07-22-2015, 06:56 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimThias View Post
It can't?

Attachment 9004

Ah, I learned a trick - if you add the CW/CCW correction before correcting the distortion, you get to keep the fun stuff like the chimney tops

Thanks for all the advice and comments here - I really learned something. Pic was finally accepted yesterday.

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphot...539339&nseq=75

Cheers

Paul
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Old 07-22-2015, 12:17 PM   #12
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Actually, I didn't have to do any rotation at all. As miningcamper1 pointed out above, it was already level. In Photoshop, I used Edit > Transform > Perspective to get the edges level. When you use Perspective, it pulls or pushes the corners but the image will remain as is in the middle. I then used Edit > Transform > Scale (apple-T on a Mac) to pull/push the sides and top/bottom to get everything looking the normal height again. I did need to cheat a little in the bottom left, cloning some information to fill in the blank gaps created by the perspective tweaking.

Yours is actually unlevel now on the left side now. Look at how much the verticals are leaning, including the tower in the middle that miningcamper1 showed earlier as level.
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