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Paulstw

Leaning buildings UWA lens

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I just bought a Tokina 11-16 2.8 for my Canon 7D, and while kit is very rarely talked about on here. I'm guessing its important. 

 

I have been noticing on viewing other peoples photos, that there is a lot of extreme leaning of buildings. Strange perspectives and dutch angles used a lot in portfolios. Is this something that sells well? or Is it generally frowned upon? 

 

I took this today just having a play around with my new lens. I photoshopped the sky in and dodged and burned every brick and colour balanced the image to reflect a nice sunny day. However, the angle actually made me feel quick dizzy while I was working on it. 

 

9837569645_d3257a3106_c.jpg
 
*Disclaimer*
I know how some feel about Flickr, and I had no intention in putting this on Alamy. It's not symmetrical enough for me, and I don't like the lean at all. I just took it because someone has asked for a shot like this for a wedding I'm doing in two weeks, and I wanted to see how it looked. 
 
Anyway, the dutch angle thing (tilting the camera) seems to not only be done on buildings but on street signs, and shop signs. 
 
What's the general feeling on it? 
 
Paul

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I've been recently pondering asking this question myself. As one who strives (but frequently does not achieve I hasten to add) technical perfection, I think unless it is intentional or cannot be done any other way (as in the case of the image above), then converging verticals look sloppy, as if the photographer can't be bothered. It is so easy to correct most images in LR or PS now - a few minutes work at most. I don't know what the buyers think - that would be interesting.

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Your image looks pretty symmetrical to me, I have used plenty of wide angle images on Alamy, even sold a few of them! I do not use "Duch Angles" in my work, as I don't tend to like the effect, so I can't really comment on their sale-ability.

Edited by John Gaffen

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I correct the angles on some of my architectural images, but again it depends on the subject and or the effect I am trying to achieve. 

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I've learned (today) that if the lens front element is perpendicular to the front of the building it won't lean as much or look as distorted. The image above was a 45 degree point upwards. Learning how to correct leaning in photoshop too, but this seems to crop out a lot of the surrounding area. 

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I've learned (today) that if the lens front element is perpendicular to the front of the building it won't lean as much or look as distorted. The image above was a 45 degree point upwards. Learning how to correct leaning in photoshop too, but this seems to crop out a lot of the surrounding area. 

You need to allow space when taking the picture or take more than one and stitch. The correction can sometimes cause slight deterioration of the image quality but is usually not noticeable.

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Wide-angle distortion is common place, Paul. Our viewing audience out there is totally used to it. It began with shooters trying to make an ordinary scene look exciting. We're a long way past that point now. I do it, everyone does it, and now you do it. No biggie.  The LR5 distortion tool won't help with this image: it's too tightly cropped. Live with it. It looks good.

 

:)

Edited by Ed Rooney
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I've learned (today) that if the lens front element is perpendicular to the front of the building it won't lean as much or look as distorted. The image above was a 45 degree point upwards. Learning how to correct leaning in photoshop too, but this seems to crop out a lot of the surrounding area. 

 

Close, but no.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scheimpflug_principle

Some photo courses still teach this.

 

wim

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Just learned about Dutch Angles. Never heard the term before. In fact they are German angles that got mixed up, just like the Pennsylvania Dutch, who are not from the Netherlands either.

 

The wiki about the Dutch angles tells it all really, when to use them.

 

In general all things that are not according to photo club rules are used to convey something outside of a technically perfect representation. Like mood or feeling or impression or just showing off your extreme wideangle lens ;-)

 

Look at the difference between images that are being used in ads in different magazines and images that are being used editorial.

Do you see a difference between different magazines? Like an easy one: between the Vogue and the Cosmopolitain and Top Gear?

And the difference with editorial? Difference between different newspapers?

 

You could very well start with a style or technique like falling lines: check in all those media where they are likely to occur, and where they do not appear at all.

 

Maybe as another example and starting point use a technique that is coming heavily into fashion like flare.

 

wim

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I've learned (today) that if the lens front element is perpendicular to the front of the building it won't lean as much or look as distorted. The image above was a 45 degree point upwards. Learning how to correct leaning in photoshop too, but this seems to crop out a lot of the surrounding area. 

 

Close, but no.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scheimpflug_principle

Some photo courses still teach this.

 

wim

 

Oh my Lord: the photo didn't make me feel dizzy, but that Wiki article definitely did.  Had to get out of there quick before I fell off the edge of the globe!

 

Like Wim, I had never heard the term 'Dutch Angle' before and had to look it up.  Now I know what it is, I have to confess to increasingly using it (the technique, not the phrase!).  It is a bit of a cliché, but it can add a little dynamism to what might otherwise be a boring subject.  As it seems to be used so much, (and sold) I guess I presumed that that was what was in demand and have gone along with the flow, (and I kind of like it anyway).  But maybe it's just clients buying what's available and in mode at present (since everyone does it, that's what they buy).  In a year or so, buyers will probably want something different, so we'll all be out retaking our buildings, street signs and shop signs with ^^^ flare.

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losdemas,

 

like Yogi Berra famously never said: it's hard to predict anything especially about fashion in the future.

;-)

Usually as someone who produces art,  once you notice something in print, you have been too late.

 

wim

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Thanks for the replies folks. Glad to know it's not frowned upon :) I'll be having some fun with my new UWA then :)

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The fact is that we are used to angles converging when we look up at things. Straightening buildings a bit to get parallel verticals is OK on many shots, but when the viewpoint is obviously from below, our eye expects the verticals to converge. Try straightening the verticals on that image of the church and you will feel worse than dizzy. 

I'd happily send that one to Alamy - it's a good shot of a church highlighting the welcoming open doors - something that wouldn't have been as prominent if taken from a distance with a longer lens.

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Just to be clear on what I meant, I was only referring to images such as straightforward architectural shots or scenes with buildings where it is a simple matter to correct the verticals in software. I am not frowning on shots like the one above, which is a perfectly good shot, could not be taken any other way and the effect is intentional (for aesthetic reasons). But there are a lot of building shots here on Alamy which could be improved very easily by a minute's work in LR or PS.

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Just to be clear on what I meant, I was only referring to images such as straightforward architectural shots or scenes with buildings where it is a simple matter to correct the verticals in software. I am not frowning on shots like the one above, which is a perfectly good shot, could not be taken any other way and the effect is intentional (for aesthetic reasons). But there are a lot of building shots here on Alamy which could be improved very easily by a minute's work in LR or PS.

I quite agree - buildings taken more or less straight on and almost vertical look much better tweeked.

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I have an old shot of the finnieston crane in Glasgow. The shot is of the Clyde arc but the crane is so crazily distorted that it should be falling over with the way the back end of it is in the frame. I just see images sometimes of buildings purposely leaning at 45 degree angles on here and wonder if they sell.

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IME travel publications often prefer wide-angle distortions such as converging verticals. They can make architectural, etc. images more "dramatic." I generally don't worry too much about this kind of distortion unless I'm wanting a purely documentary (i.e. realistic) view of a building. I've had a number of tilting churches sell on Alamy, and I'm not even particularly religious.

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A good trick is........Get a picture in upright format with converging verticals and place it directly in front of your eyes at a distance of about 12 inches (30 cms). Then tilt your head to one side by 90 degrees until your head is horizontal with the picture. This will naturally create parallex error with your eyes inline with the said photograph (presuming your eyes are equally spaced apart of course). Then close one eye (obviously which eye will depend upon which way you tilt your head) and as if by magic the picture will look totally normal as the shutting of one eye will cancel out the parallex error and therefore cancel out the converging verticals.

This technique was widely used with stereo and TLR cameras in the olden days.

 

Andy

Edited by AndyMelbourne

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Hey Paul

 

I wouldn't worry too much about it. You have to remember it all depends on what effect you want to create.

 

By doing what you have done, you've showed the building looming above you. Nothing wrong with that. It's something I use all the time and sometimes to create a comic book effect on a particular scene.

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As Jools said it depends on what effect you want to create, normally I like  buildings looking straight and square etc  but if you are going for the converging verticals for a reason then go for it....mind you I have just uploaded one which I shot on purpose, where I am below a castle that is sitting high on a mound so it is quite severe.. so we will see..

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Judging from the Alamy home page images I've seen in recent weeks, even ocean scenes with rather curved horizons are acceptable wide-angle effects.

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I took this on Saturday night, and I so wanted it for Alamy but it would never get past QC. 

 

9891664454_6f4e59a18d_b.jpg
 
It's leaning all over the place, but I can see what people mean by saying that its the done deal. I seen this angle true with my eye as I stood there so the lens did a pretty good job of holding that true. 
It's sloppy photoshopping to remove flare (I haven't quite mastered the removal of annoying green and purple blobs) but there you go :) 
 
Going to remove the top image from flickr and add it to Alamy. 
 
Cheers for the advice :) 

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