Get it Straight

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One thing that can bother you about photos is where the upright or horizontal lines are slightly (or more) out. For instance buildings can make the whole photo look out of true, and horizon lines in landscapes or seascapes can look even worse. Here are a few tips on how to make your photos straighter.

Here is a photo that is slightly out of true (ahem – done just as an example) the building is slightly out of the vertical. A few points:
First it may not bother you.

Second in many photos where you may have a lot of verticals you you may not help by straightening since other parts would look wrong. This well happen especially if you have a wide angle lens. In this case you need to sort it in good software or get used to it.

example of a vertical being slightly off

example of a vertical being slightly off

In the example above the photographer should have made the vertical more upright – the whole building is leaning very slightly to the right. Perhaps at the time he was looking more at the roses and the building leaning became more evident when viewing later.

You may find that your verticals lean one way or another all the time. This is not unusual – you may move the camera slightly downwards (or even upwards) as you push the shutter button and not even realise it. OK. Solutions.
1) turn on guidelines in the camera viewfinder if you have this option (many cameras have it including compacts, the guidelines appear on the LCD). The guidelines will help you get those verticals and horizontals in line.

2) Hold the camera steady as you take the shot – leaning against something like a tree may also help.
3) If you consistently skew your photos, try skewing it yourself – and here is the trick: you skew it the same way as it leans in the photos. This is anti intuitive since you feel you must go the other way but that’s wrong – try it. If your photos lean to the right (as above) then lean your camera slightly to the right and you will counteract the lean.

It’s the same for horizontals, if the horizon line goes up at the right then rotate the camera slightly upwards at the right hand side (anticlockwise in other words) – this is more easy to visualise than the vertical lines.

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