Ugly Hedgehog® - Photography Forum
Lines and Curves and Verticals
Feb 9, 2017 23:21:24   #
mallen1330 Loc: Chicago western suburbs
As a forum moderator, I was not able to pull out RichardQ's reply into a new topic. Anyway...

The photos in the original post from Richard and Bob ( are wonderful illustrations of the proper use of converging verticals in architectural shots. They add a dynamic sense of movement -- the perfect composition when looking up at tall buildings or tall spaces. They convey the reality of how we perceive these spaces and buildings "outside" the photograph. There is nothing I would change in those shots.

However, in other cases, when looking straight on, our "minds-eye" non-photo view of buildings and spaces do not "see" the converging verticals. An architectural shot like the example below seems to be "wrong" -- not matching our experience of reality -- that can cause a feeling of unease on the part of the viewer. This, of course, does not apply to "street" photography, where the intent is to capitalize on the sense of a candid Cinéma vérité feeling.
Before adjustments
Before adjustments...
After adjusting
After adjusting...

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Feb 10, 2017 13:12:07   #
cambriaman Loc: Central CA Coast
I always adjust such images if I keep them.

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Feb 10, 2017 19:54:59   #
jdubu Loc: San Jose, CA
That is an good point. Converging lines coupled with a very wide angle view and not having the lens parallel to the walls exacerbates the distortion one has to deal with in post. (street vs. architectural) The amount that you can correct and deem satisfactory, depends largely on the intended use and what you can accept versus the amount of time you need to spend in post correcting it. How much is your time worth?

For real estate purposes, the original shots and corrections done in these examples, I assume would be enough to convey the space and serve their purpose to attract and sell the home. Again, time is money and you can't spend inordinate hours shooting or post processing, you won't get enough return for your extra time.

When the results are not as transitory and the purpose for the shoot will demand and receive more money, then the post you do on the photos better be worthy of the money you get paid. But time is still money and you need to plan and shoot accordingly.

In the above examples, planning would be key to minimizing post processing time. Whether a wide angle lens or a tilt shift, I always make sure I am parallel to the selected view and I avoid as much lens distortion as possible. To accomplish this, a good tripod is a must and a geared head is a very close second. Doing this will avoid problems with wall angles. (Even so, there are times that diagonals run to weird angles that will require processing to bring them back to a natural look that isn't distracting.)
In the view of the stair landing, setting up the camera (which takes time) would give you matching corner angles. The ceiling corner looks close to a 40° angle, but the floor corner visually is much sharper because the camera was not parallel to the wall. As I said, for real estate or similar, this may not be a problem and if it is, then you address it. But if you submit this to an architect or builder for their portfolio... you better learn how to fix washing machines because you're not getting many more photo jobs.

I spend my time on site getting the files as good as I can, hopefully learning to avoid any mistakes I made before. Then I can spend my processing time to bring the white balance temperatures to a similar color range and clean up the image. Usually working in layers from different exposures to balance contrasts, highlights, etc. Those things need to be done in post so anything I can do in camera on site to avoid post time saves me time.

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