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Thread: A question of perspective?

  1. #1
    The Blue Boy's Avatar
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    A question of perspective?

    This image was taken in Portugal a few weeks ago. I used a tripod with a hotshoe attached spirit level (borrowed) As you can see the "pillars" on the left of the picture are perfectly vertical (which is what I checked on the LCD) now when I look on the computer, the buildings on the right look as though the're about to fall into the sea

    I've had a quick try with transform in CS3 but that just looks unnatural.

    My own idea as a finished image for this, is split toned, cropped, and quite a bit of cloning to be done. Up to now all I've done is resize and USM so I could post to flickr and get it here ASAP;

    A question of perspective?

    Guys'

    Thanks in advance,

    Mark

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    Re: A question of perspective?

    Hi Mark,

    I suspect what's happened here is you've got perspective (and perhaps a touch of barrel) distortion in the image and whereas it would have been balanced on both sides, you've ended up correcting for the perspective distortion on the left hand side of the image which has made the issues on the right-hand side look twice as bad.

    This is the sort of shot where a tilt & shift lens would have really excelled.

    What lens / focal length were you using by the way?

    Cheers,

    Colin - pbase.com/cjsouthern
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 12th January 2009 at 05:26 AM.

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    Re: A question of perspective?

    Mark,
    I don't have a problem with the buildings tilting back but then again, I don't have the cash to buy a tilt & shift lens either. I like the picture very much.

    The very pleasant colors, the shadows are perfect. I would be happy with this effort if I were you.

    If I could play God, I would have loved to bring the person in the background somewhere in the foreground and see what sort of long shadow I could get of them.

    Don't mind me... I'm just daydreaming. Great effort.

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    Re: A question of perspective?

    Hello Colin,

    18mm on the Nikkor 18-70 kit lens that came with D80.

    Lens distortion is the one thing I'd forgotten with this lens but even so it's never been that bad before.

    I'll go and play with said filter in CS3

    Mark

    @pixelpete; Cheers Pete, funnily enough that's sort of what I've got in mind hence the title, but I'm gonna try a few things first (with a little help from my friends) check it out at;

    http://flickr.com/photos/istartedafire/
    Last edited by The Blue Boy; 16th December 2008 at 08:59 PM.

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    Re: A question of perspective?

    How many bubbles did the spirit level have -- 1 or 2, and if two were they aligned correctly?

    If it's distortion, have you tried PTLens to correct this -- it works very well.

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    Re: A question of perspective?

    Hi Mark

    1 - those little bubble things are useless, if you are levelling, level properly with a small joiners level with a long upward bowed tube
    2 - as Colin said, buildings do show natural perspective in the vertical plane as well as the horizontal and taking it out completely always produces an unatural result
    3 - for removing barrel distortion, there is a very good quick tool in Nikon Capture NX2 (also vignette control which you sometimes need on a kit lens at its extremities). Hey, why 18-70, you should have got an 18-135
    4 - I wish I could say the same for NX2 about unskew (maybe that is same as transform in PS), but for that I always go to mac only prog GraphicConverter which has four lines with draggable intersection points that are still where last placed if early attempts are not quite what one wants. It is a 'universal binary' app so should work on PC
    5 - on the particular shot, I am not sure the long foreground is actually doing much

    an aside for Colin - as one can run Vista on coreduo macs, so perhaps OS10.5 on a PC if it has a vestige of RAM left ?(answer optional)

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    Re: A question of perspective?

    "an aside for Colin - as one can run Vista on coreduo macs, so perhaps OS10.5 on a PC if it has a vestige of RAM left ?(answer optional)"

    I used to program a Sinclair ZX80 in assembly language - it had the grand total of 1024 bytes of ram - and I never ran out.

    My Osbourne 1 had 64k RAM (running CP/M) - heck, with 74k of machine code I could practically rule the world!

    My first IBM had the series 2 motherboard (with 64k RAM, up from 16kb - but still with the cassette interface); I asked the dealer to max it out all the way to 640k and he told me "you'll never need that much RAM"!

    Somewhere I blinked - my hair changed colour - my waistline expanded - and I'm running servers with 8GB RAM - heck, even the video cards on my post-processing PC have a total of 1.5GB RAM!

    Now we have MacOS running Windows - Windows running MacOS - cameras with 3 CPUs - it's getting all too much for this simple lad!

    Cheers,

    Colin - pbase.com/cjsouthern
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 12th January 2009 at 05:26 AM.

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    Re: A question of perspective?

    "those little bubble things are useless"

    I often use one - and many is the time the bubble will assure me that the camera is level ... and thus it's the sea that's on a bit of a slope

    One of the suggestions I forwarded to Canon was that it would be nice if the camera could detect how far off horizontal it was - and feed that info into the exif data so that software could level shots automatically (if desired) ...

    ... fingers crossed we might see something along those lines someday (along with about 20 other things I've suggested

    To be honest, I don't get too excited by small leveling errors (they're easy enough to fix in PP), but the distortions introduced by WA lenses can be more problematic.

    Possibly the best advice I can offer the OP is to spend a bit of time looking through the viewfinder of a camera with a WA lens mounted - and get to know what happens to straight lines as the camera is panned and tilted. Personally I don't shoot a lot of buildings, but I do do a lot of work with horizons raised to the top 1/3 of the screen - and with UWA lenses I frequently have to get the curve out of the horizon.

    Cheers,

    Colin - pbase.com/cjsouthern
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 12th January 2009 at 05:26 AM.

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    Re: A question of perspective?

    Just for fun I did a few quick adjustments on the image ...

    - I rotated it CW by 0.6 deg (because I thought it was out by about this much to start with)

    - I corrected a bit of barrel distortion

    - Then I adjusted the vertical perspective slightly.

    I suspect that the lamp post leads us down the garden path a bit - because it had the weight of the lamp hanging off it to the left, the reason it looks slightly curved is probably because it actually is! With our eyes drawn to that because it's the dominant foreground "vertical" element we fail to resolve any angular differences with other vertical edges that we thus assume are parallel to the lamp post (when actually they've not) - and we conclude that things look worse than they really are.

    Cheers,

    Colin - pbase.com/cjsouthern
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    Last edited by Colin Southern; 12th January 2009 at 05:26 AM.

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    Re: A question of perspective?

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    "those little bubble things are useless"

    I often use one - and many is the time the bubble will assure me that the camera is level ... and thus it's the sea that's on a bit of a slope
    Colin, I don't need such technology to prove the sea slopes, I just do it by instinct everytime!

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    One of the suggestions I forwarded to Canon was that it would be nice if the camera could detect how far off horizontal it was - and feed that info into the exif data so that software could level shots automatically (if desired) ...
    Why not get them to use the sensor shakers to twist the CCD slightly to correct it 'in camera' (upto a certain amount).

    Mark,

    My tuppence ha'penny;
    a) I do like the lead in of the long foreground, but I might lose the bit from, and below, where the pavement has be dug up and patched, retaining the first post.
    b) Although I wasn't unhappy with it originally, Colin's tweak probably is a good compromise to improving the perspective, however, it has more effect in the foreground than the middle distance. With over-study, it is now my perception that the middle distance buildings are leaning left, which unsettles me most. I think it's an illusion though!

    Regards, Dave
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 17th December 2008 at 10:38 AM.

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    Re: A question of perspective?

    I go with Colin on slight rotation - put the vertical on the 3 storey building pretty well dead centre, but be careful not to lose the sky to LH of extreme LH column; also agree there is a touch of distortion that can be improved. Unskew counter-productive as it reduces the edges too much & not needed, sorry red-herring.

    Removing the cable and a few manhole covers seems to work wonders, but suspect the worst offender is the transformer box at the right; can't do that on a reduction, so have cropped there as well as bottom and toned it down

    Ah...that deep blue sky....
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    Last edited by crisscross; 17th December 2008 at 02:40 PM.

  12. #12
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    Re: A question of perspective?

    Guys, what can I say.

    I,ve just got in from work and I certainly wasn't expecting the attention this post has recieved! Firstly apologies to those expecting replies (those pesky time zones, sleep and bloody work issues!) and secondly thanks for for your valuable time and attention.

    Right then,

    @rc53, the level did indeed have two "bubbles". Like I mentioned it was the first time I'd actually used one as this one was borrowed. I took quite alot of tweaking to get what I thought was right! I don't think I want one in my stocking this year.

    @Chris, I'm still getting used to the new UI on NX2 but I am using it more (mainly the D-Lighting and the fantastic Control Points!) which is directly down to you, mate!

    @Colin, bloody hell, mate. Where to start. RE curved horizons. Nail on head, I'd forgotten to take this into account with this lens, probably becaese I was fafing about with the level. Indeed I've had to PP quite a number of shots with this error, but I didn't use me noggin as I took it in portrait. Homer moment. You'll find I have alot of these!
    Your tweaks are exactly how I will do them, thanks for the input. As I said in the OP I've got alot of cloning to do!

    @Dave, your input is always of value, but, well, the sea does slope doesn't it?

    finally@Chris, agreed, and yeah, consider the transformer gone! As for ah... that deep blue sky.... it was freezing. I kid you not.

    Guys, again thanks.

    Mark.

    P.S. Will post final image when done. I'm having the hard drive fixed at the minute (I'm on the laptop, so's not ideal) but watch this space.

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    Re: A question of perspective?

    Well I just corrected perspective and normal PP.....seems ok to me...

    A question of perspective?

  14. #14
    The Blue Boy's Avatar
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    Re: A question of perspective?

    @willgoss

    Hello mate,

    "Normal" PP. What have you done? I presume you're in photoshop? (i.e. perspective)

    Mark

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    Re: A question of perspective?

    Mark,

    One more thing that might prove helpful - with UWA shots - if you can - zoom out a bit more to give youself some cropping room that may be necessary to "square up" an image after perspective and barrel distortion corrections - it gives you a lot more "wiggle room", and with todays high MP count cameras it really doesn't cause a problem with image quality.

    ... Of course if your lens was already at it widest then then - darn it all - you'll just have to go buy a new lens. Tell the wife that I said it was necessary, and OK to buy.

    Cheers,

    Colin - pbase.com/cjsouthern
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 12th January 2009 at 05:27 AM.

  16. #16
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    Re: A question of perspective?

    Thanks Colin,

    Yeah that will prove handy. I'm playing with the image (and a number of others) as we speak, but as I mentioned earlier, I'm on the laptop.

    Mark

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    Re: A question of perspective?

    Chelseablue......well no I used PaintShopPro X2 or Gimp both of which which have a nice perspective tool...

    My normal processing (scripted psp or Gimp)) includes noise removal, White balance, expand shadow area (dynamic range) and smart sharpen....

    The posting above was the PSP version and the following is the Gimp Version.....

    A question of perspective?
    Last edited by willgoss; 18th December 2008 at 03:01 AM.

  18. #18
    The Blue Boy's Avatar
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    Re: A question of perspective?

    Final image, possibly. This has been done on a laptop but you'll get the general idea.

    Titled; The boy in the Distant.

    Full story (plus ho ho ho hat) here; http://www.flickr.com/photos/istartedafire/3121526966/

    A question of perspective?

    Cheers guys,

    Mark
    Last edited by The Blue Boy; 21st December 2008 at 08:03 PM.

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    Re: A question of perspective?

    I like the end result crop (and the border frame is pretty nice too)
    but since you are getting rid of the left side, I would tilt and recrop a little bit.
    the middle building is probably dead center vertical, but the one on the side is not and ....well, at the very least I would titl enough so the wall next to the gate is vertical....

    just my 2 cents...

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