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Transform Trouble

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Posted (edited)

I0000QQn9bJhPOo0.jpg

 

I'm using mine because it wouldn't be fair to use somebody else's but I am not the only one having trouble with Transform tool. 

 

The tower of Exeter cathedral seems to splay. 

 

This is the RAW below. Now I have started looking I am seeing TOO many images which look 'funny'.

 

Transform tips please? 

 

I0000PbsgPxdtymQ.jpg

 

Feel free to find ones of MINE to name and shame. 

 

For example what about? 2B6WXKN

 

Edited by geogphotos

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Posted (edited)

Sorry misread what you said. I don't think there is a lot you can do with the splaying of the tower without a lot of work in Photoshop.

 

Edited by MDM

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Posted (edited)
42 minutes ago, MDM said:

Sorry misread what you said. I don't think there is a lot you can do with the splaying of the tower without a lot of work in Photoshop.

 

 

 

Do you have any rules of thumb or just go by what looks right?

 

I noticed that lots of other people's pics of the same cathedral also have this 'problem' - if it is a problem - of correcting shots which are wide angle.

 

I'll take from your kind reply that the processed version is at least better than that out of the camera. 

 

In the end the choice will, of course, be made by the buyer but littering the place with duds is helping nobody.

 

I think I've been over-using Transform in Adobe Raw processing and then when you stop and reconsider everything starts to look wrong

 

 

Edited by geogphotos

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Looks to me like you've over-straightened the verticals. I always stop before things start looking weird.

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18 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

 

I always stop before things start looking weird.

 

 

+1... usually. However I find converging verticals much more noticeable and objectionable than splayed towers so I will sometimes err on the side of splaying.

 

Alan

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20 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

Looks to me like you've over-straightened the verticals. I always stop before things start looking weird.

 

 

Yes I agree, you just do it by eye and leave a bit of a lean?

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13 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

Looks to me like you've over-straightened the verticals. I always stop before things start looking weird.

 

I adopt similar if and when I think some (maybe not full) correction will make it look better, although I have licensed a number over the years that were uncorrected. I find that sometimes correcting to "nearly" vertical helps overall, but avoids the weird splaying so common. In fact, I think the splaying can make some buildings look so unlike reality that a discerning buyer might ignore it . . . just a thought, no examples to offer :).

However, the thing I've found most helpful in this and similar situations is Photoshop's Adaptive Wide Angle filter . . . allows you to adjust every vertical and/or horizontal "line" to make them perfectly straight and perfectly vertical or horizantal (or any degree more or less as you desire). Of course, you need the latest or near latest PS.

 

DD

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Posted (edited)
30 minutes ago, Inchiquin said:

 

+1... usually. However I find converging verticals much more noticeable and objectionable than splayed towers so I will sometimes err on the side of splaying.

 

Alan

 

 

True, I'll just try and be more careful in the future.

 

I've just been looking at a video of tilt-shift photography which is all about getting verticals absolutely vertical.

 

How would the cathedral look better using tilt-shift?

Edited by geogphotos

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37 minutes ago, dustydingo said:

 

I adopt similar if and when I think some (maybe not full) correction will make it look better, although I have licensed a number over the years that were uncorrected. I find that sometimes correcting to "nearly" vertical helps overall, but avoids the weird splaying so common. In fact, I think the splaying can make some buildings look so unlike reality that a discerning buyer might ignore it . . . just a thought, no examples to offer :).

However, the thing I've found most helpful in this and similar situations is Photoshop's Adaptive Wide Angle filter . . . allows you to adjust every vertical and/or horizontal "line" to make them perfectly straight and perfectly vertical or horizantal (or any degree more or less as you desire). Of course, you need the latest or near latest PS.

 

DD

 

Yes, I find that "nearly vertical" usually looks more natural, so to speak. I too have had plenty of non-corrected architectural images license. It's probably not as big a deal as we think. Uncorrected verticals can also make some images more dramatic. I sometimes upload both a corrected and an uncorrected version. Most of the time, I use this cheap and cheerful little program for correcting verticals. It works well, I find. 

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

 

Yes, I find that "nearly vertical" usually looks more natural, so to speak. I too have had plenty of non-corrected architectural images license. It's probably not as big a deal as we think. Uncorrected verticals can also make some images more dramatic. I sometimes upload both a corrected and an uncorrected version. Most of the time, I use this cheap and cheerful little program for correcting verticals. It works well, I find. 

 

When I am obviously close I'm much more likely to just leave the image more or less uncorrected - of a building anyway. I mainly use the Transform tool within ACR. If there isn't enough room to play with I'll try the SelectAll/ then Edit/Transform/Distort tool in Photoshop itself.  

 

The tougher decisions come when I am further away as in the cathedral picture. Realistically the human eye cannot possible see all of that huge building with everything absolutely straight. But because the image is further away the converging verticals and wonky horizontals of the wide angle look jarring.

 

I know that I have some howlers but also a lot where the corrections do make the image better. I guess just try my best and learn from the mistakes. 

Edited by geogphotos

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Straitening up lines is not as easy as it seems it should be.  One problem is that nearly all lenses have some barrel distortion, making straight lines curve or bow some....so first I try to correct that as best I can in LENS Correction any of the Adobe image programs.   Then I use the upright tool in the Adobe RAW converter to straighten lines.  If I find it difficult to see if I am getting it right, I sometimes go to (in Photoshop) VIEW and then down to SHOW and then click on GRID.  This just places a reference grid over your photo (does not embed into the photo) so it is easier to see if all the lines are straight.  Even with all that, I still get lines that can look a little wonky.

 

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Posted (edited)

Any shot of a 3D subject taken from closeup with a wide-angle lens will start to look unnatural if the converging verticals or horizontals are fully corrected. Similarly an uncorrected image may also look weird. The problem is exacerbated if the subject is shot from both a horizontal and vertical offset angle (as in your example). I find it's best to adjust until it "looks right", but that is very often before the convergence has been completely removed. But images of 2D items (e.g. flat artwork) can usually be fully corrected without problems (assuming depth of focus is sufficient). 

 

Mark

Edited by M.Chapman

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6 minutes ago, M.Chapman said:

Any shot of a 3D subject taken from closeup with a wide-angle lens will start to look unnatural if the converging verticals or horizontals are fully corrected. Similarly an uncorrected image may also look weird. The problem is exacerbated if the subject is shot from both a horizontal and vertical offset angle (as in your example). I find it's best to adjust until it "looks right", but that is very often before the convergence has been completely removed. But images of 2D items (e.g. flat artwork) can usually be fully corrected without problems (assuming depth of focus is sufficient). 

 

Mark

 

Yes, thanks Mark. It's the 'looks right' part that causes the problems I find! 

 

And the more one looks......

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My problem, as a one-eyed photographer, is getting the verticals vertical, and even worse, trying to make non-vertical details (a church spire, for example) look right. And, yes, what looks right today may look skew-wiff tomorrow. However, I'll be happy if, over the next few weeks, this is my worst problem. 😬

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5 minutes ago, John Morrison said:

My problem, as a one-eyed photographer, is getting the verticals vertical, and even worse, trying to make non-vertical details (a church spire, for example) look right. And, yes, what looks right today may look skew-wiff tomorrow. However, I'll be happy if, over the next few weeks, this is my worst problem. 😬

 

Interesting to see your church pics John. I've become something of a church-crawler. Got pics of over 200 Suffolk churches now.

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To my eye your corrected version looks fine. I know what you mean about splaying- you could back it off a notch if you're concerned about it. I rarely fully correct myself.

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I think what you are calling splaying is simply lens distortion which is exaggerated by the correction process. I don't think it is a real problem here though and it looks a lot better than the uncorrected version. One thing I do is go less wide angle (35-50mm), take several and do a merge. Doing portrait format can work as well but the merges can be distorted. Merges are best done on the raws where possible. I think experimentation is the way to go. 

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Thanks for all the comments.

 

As soon as I get up-to-date I will have a good look through and deal with the worst offenders. 

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Problem with the "Splaying" is that it makes the tower look "Dumpy".

 

I would try stretching the horizontals a little to bring the tower back to its more normally slender appearance.

 

Have not tried that myself yet but I do not usually correct verticals and when I do it is only given a light touch. Probably about half the amount that you needed to use to obtain vertical verticals in the image above.

 

Allan

 

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5 minutes ago, Allan Bell said:

Problem with the "Splaying" is that it makes the tower look "Dumpy".

 

I would try stretching the horizontals a little to bring the tower back to its more normally slender appearance.

 

Have not tried that myself yet but I do not usually correct verticals and when I do it is only given a light touch. Probably about half the amount that you needed to use to obtain vertical verticals in the image above.

 

Allan

 

 

 

Thanks Allan.

 

Do have a look at what is on offer for Exeter Cathedral and you'll see what I mean that I am not alone.

 

Not that I am saying that it matters what others have done but I do think that it shows this to be a fairly common issue.

 

 

 

 

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8 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

 

 

Thanks Allan.

 

Do have a look at what is on offer for Exeter Cathedral and you'll see what I mean that I am not alone.

 

Not that I am saying that it matters what others have done but I do think that it shows this to be a fairly common issue.

 

 

 

 

 

Yes I see what you mean.

 

Allan

 

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3 minutes ago, Allan Bell said:

 

Yes I see what you mean.

 

Allan

 

 

 

The trouble is once you start 'looking' the more you see.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, geogphotos said:

How would the cathedral look better using tilt-shift?

Just wondering how wide was the lens that you shot it with? You would probably get similar problems with a Tilt-Shift lens if one was available (e.g. the brilliant but worryingly vulnerable Canon 17mm TS-E) but even then they are less flexible (literally) than using a View Camera, which I realise is no longer a practical option. Since the environs of Exterer Cathedral probably haven't changed that much I wonder if you could find some older View Camera originals (Edwin Smith perhaps), possibly from the Architectural Association Photo Library here.

 

It does worry me just how many pixels are re-invented with the Transform tool ( all of them really) compared to getting it right in-camera, but I must say it generally does a very good job. The advice in View Camera architectural photography books was often not to correct completely incidentally, as it looked more natural.

Edited by Harry Harrison

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12 minutes ago, Harry Harrison said:

Just wondering how wide was the lens that you shot it with? You would probably get similar problems with a Tilt-Shift lens if one was available (e.g. the brilliant but worryingly vulnerable Canon 17mm TS-E) but even then they are less flexible (literally) than using a View Camera, which I realise is no longer a practical option. Since the environs of Exterer Cathedral probably haven't changed that much I wonder if you could find some older View Camera originals (Edwin Smith perhaps), possibly from the Architectural Association Photo Library here.

 

It does worry me just how many pixels are re-invented with the Transform tool ( all of them really) compared to getting it right in-camera, but I must say it generally does a very good job. The advice in View Camera architectural photography books was often not to correct completely incidentally, as it looked more natural.

 

 

I could only see three pics of Exeter and they weren't up to much.

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2 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

I could only see three pics of Exeter and they weren't up to much.

Yes, sorry, my mistake, wrong link for Edwin Smiith, his pictures are with the RIBA on RIBAPix. Still nothing much on there either except for this view more from the front and from further away, photographer unknown, here.

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