Old 05-06-2007, 04:42 AM   #1
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Default help with leveling


I leveled the shot using the verticals of the station (windows and wall) to level the shot, since I figured the building has the best chance of being level. Does anyone have some suggestions for future use on what I should be using to level the shot? Not so much for this shot, as the esthetic quality rejection is game over for it, but I'd like to learn some tips and tricks for next time.

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Old 05-06-2007, 12:30 PM   #2
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Were it only the horizon, I think an appeal with explanation would suffice. The perspective distortion is strong, but the verticals of the structure are vertical and the edge of the lower roof segment is horizontal.

In the future, I suggest that when you first submit, you put such an explanation in the remarks to the screener. Be proactive, don't wait for the second go-round to explain.
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Old 05-06-2007, 07:25 PM   #3
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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.

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