Camera technique problem - help correcting

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Eigenvector, Aug 4, 2003.

  1. Eigenvector

    Eigenvector Guest

    I can hear some of the answers already, but its one of those unconscious
    things that I do when taking photos that I need some help correcting.

    So I'm out hiking, I have my Lowepro bag on my hip and I unzip it and take
    out the camera for a quick shot, I hold the camera a little unsteady since
    I'm exhausted from the hike itself and snap the photo onto my digital.
    Here's where the problem comes in, I get the pictures home and the image is
    canted at about a 4 degree angle. Its consistent too. Almost all of my
    hiking images are canted at a little bit of an angle. Is it the way I lock
    my wrist to steady my hand, is it using the viewscreen rather than the
    eyepiece, is it the footing (I'm rarely on flat terrain when taking hiking
    photos)?

    Any first hand experiences out there to help me correct this problem?

    If you want to see the last batch of photos I'll provide the link to them on
    Imageevent, but I didn't want to turn this thread into some "Man you got
    funky <insert facial feature here>" insult war.
     
    Eigenvector, Aug 4, 2003
    #1
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  2. Funny you should post this. We took a boat cruise not too long ago to view
    the beautiful homes along the coast of SW Florida and, of course, the
    sunset. Darned horizon images are all canted. Four degrees seems to be
    about what I experienced (No, I was not drinking). I have been thinking
    about this from time to time and at least I'm glad to know that I'm not
    alone. Any scientists out there?
     
    Charles Schuler, Aug 4, 2003
    #2
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  3. Eigenvector

    Robertwgross Guest

    I also shoot a lot in the wilderness, and I am sometimes out of breath when I
    suddenly have a photo subject. On my digital camera, I am forced to view the
    subject with the viewfinder, and there is no LCD preview screen. Sometimes I
    try to shoot with my prescription sunglasses on, and sometimes they are off, so
    that gets me different results. I have the diopter setting for my vision with
    sunglasses off, so that is my own fault. Whether I use a tripod or not, I still
    get a few shots that are off-level. My quick release mounts all have little
    spirit levels in them, but they must lie to me. I also have a hardware store
    spirit level that hangs on a carpenter's line, and it does a better job of it.
    You can have the viewfinder's focus screen replaced with one that has a grid of
    lines on it, if this is a decent camera, but you did not identify it.

    This is especially difficult to get right when the ambient lighting is low,
    like at sundown but you are not shooting toward the horizon.

    When all else fails, I use the Image Rotate Custom function in my image editor.
    That will crop off some of the edges, but it works.

    ---Bob Gross---
     
    Robertwgross, Aug 4, 2003
    #3
  4. Eigenvector

    Lisa Horton Guest

    I developed a similar problem once after upgrading to a larger heavier
    camera body. I started intentionally tilting the camera a little bit in
    the opposite direction every time I shot, and eventually got back on the
    level.

    Lisa
     
    Lisa Horton, Aug 4, 2003
    #4
  5. Eigenvector

    Frank ess Guest

    South of the equator they tilt the other way.
     
    Frank ess, Aug 4, 2003
    #5
  6. Eigenvector

    Ronald Hands Guest

    I'm certainly no expert but can't you put your image on a larger
    canvas before you do the rotate, thus avoiding any clipping?
    I thought I had read something to this effect in my Photoshop
    Elements 2.0 manual, and I presume the same holds true for full Photoshop.

    -- Ron
     
    Ronald Hands, Aug 5, 2003
    #6
  7. Eigenvector

    Charlie D Guest

    You can merely choose "rotate canvas" / "arbitrary," and it doesn't clip.
     
    Charlie D, Aug 5, 2003
    #7
  8. Eigenvector

    Robertwgross Guest

    Ron, use your head! Yes, you can put the image on a larger canvas, but then
    after rotation you're going to have some blank corners. You've never done this
    before, have you? No, I don't use Photoshop or Photoshop Elements.

    ---Bob Gross---
     
    Robertwgross, Aug 5, 2003
    #8
  9. Eigenvector

    Mxsmanic Guest

    Wide angles are also very hazardous, because even the tiniest rotation
    will be painfully obvious in the final image. Lines in the viewfinder
    are extremely handy, and an actual level of some kind is best for
    consistently good results.
    That's what I do. If the image has a lot of long vertical and
    horizontal lines, it can be extremely difficult to get it perfectly
    level in the field, unless you have a spirit level or other objective
    reference (gridlines, etc.).
     
    Mxsmanic, Aug 5, 2003
    #9
  10. Eigenvector

    kay Guest

    Common optical illusion if looking at a horizon that isnt level when you
    arent standing on level ground, your mind will create a false level (though
    some people are good at running seascapes downhill when standing on the
    beach).
    Even though tired, try to compose as carefully as possible.
     
    kay, Aug 5, 2003
    #10
  11. Eigenvector

    JK Guest

    It is you. We each tend to favor one arm over the over(for most people
    it is the right one). If you want things level, go to a hardware store and
    get a mini level. Some tripods have mini levels built into them.
     
    JK, Aug 5, 2003
    #11
  12. Eigenvector

    Mxsmanic Guest

    But you still have to crop afterwards.
     
    Mxsmanic, Aug 5, 2003
    #12
  13. Eigenvector

    Charlie D Guest

    Just tilt your head a little. ;)

    Really, I realized that after I posted. That's the second mistake I ever
    made in my life.
     
    Charlie D, Aug 5, 2003
    #13
  14. Eigenvector

    Eigenvector Guest

    I really appreciate all the pointers here guys/gals/its/things/others. I
    can see how I might be looking at the LCD crooked, its off to the left of
    the lens so that might be part of it. Basically it sounds like I need to
    take a boatload more shots and just get used to proper positioning of my
    hands and head during a shoot.
     
    Eigenvector, Aug 5, 2003
    #14
  15. Eigenvector

    Steve D Guest

    You got that right. I recently aquired a 28mm and the man a lot of
    shot were crooked. Took a while to remember to concentrate and stay
    level.

    Steve
     
    Steve D, Aug 5, 2003
    #15
  16. For about $20 you can buy a bubble level that will fit into the camera shoe.
    I use this technique all the time for my panoramic pictures. After framing the
    shot, lower the camera slightly so you can see the level and then shoot. If you
    have an lcd screen you can do both at once.
     
    Robert Feinman, Aug 5, 2003
    #16
  17. Eigenvector

    Eigenvector Guest

    Perhaps, but who wants to stick their sweaty dirt stained face on the back
    end of the camera in order to take a shot? That whole reason why I use the
    preview screen is so that I don't have to jam my nose into the preview
    screen looking into the viewfinder. Honestly I don't even know why Olympus
    decided to include a viewfinder for the C720, its got a about 1 mm of eye
    relief and when wearing glasses its even worse - couple that with the fact
    that I've probably done about 8 miles and 6000 feet elevation and look like
    the sweat monster. I like the preview screen, it gives me good stand-off
    distance from the camera - besides the viewfinder on an Olympus C720 doesn't
    show me anything that the preview screen doesn't.
     
    Eigenvector, Aug 5, 2003
    #17
  18. You can rotate the pix with many image editors. If the rotation is
    consistent, many programs can do it as a batch operation. I guess you could
    put a 4 degree wedge under one side of the monitor.
     
    Marvin Margoshes, Aug 5, 2003
    #18
  19. Eigenvector

    Tore Lund Guest

    Agree. But the mystery is why they don't try to find better placements
    for the LCD. After all, the viewfinder is close to useless on many
    cameras, and in those cases I'd rather do without it. Getting a
    swiveling LCD helps, and a swiveling body, as in Nikons, helps too. But
    there are other solutions worth trying out. One thing I would like to
    try is an LCD embedded at 45 degrees in the position of the viewfinder,
    with a hood for shading and protection - i.e. LCD and EVF combined.
     
    Tore Lund, Aug 5, 2003
    #19
  20. Eigenvector

    Ronald Hands Guest

    No, I haven't had to, which perhaps proves that I'm very level-headed
    :)
    Checking the reference in the PSE manual, I see that it's really
    aimed at straightening prints that have been skewed when scanned on a
    flatbed scanner.
    So now I begin to comprehend the difference between straightening a
    crooked print and straightening something within a print.

    -- Ron
     
    Ronald Hands, Aug 6, 2003
    #20
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