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09-04-2018, 08:56 AM   #1
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Correcting a shot that isn't level.

I have a bad habit of tilting my head when I pan. I keep an eye on the level in the camera, but when I track motion my head tilts.
So I go to Lightroom to level the shot. However, when I look at all the lines, I don't know how to fix the shot. For example if I pick a sign or post to reference , the short is worse.
When I level the car out because the track is flat, the building looks like its falling over. Am I fighting perspective? And the Christmas Tree is not straight, its bent a bit to the right so I can't use that.


Thanks for any advice.

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09-04-2018, 09:15 AM - 2 Likes   #2
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Known-good vertical lines towards the center of the frame are your best bet. Keystoning is the hazard at other than center. The building corner would be my choice, as it was apparently yours.

QuoteOriginally posted by dwalt Quote
Am I fighting perspective?
Yes


Steve
09-04-2018, 09:26 AM   #3
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If your camera supports it, enable horizon correction. It may reduce how effective stabilization is, and it doesn't fix vertical tilt, but I found it effective to get more level shots when tracking action.
09-04-2018, 10:01 AM   #4
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The issue seems to me that the strong verticals and horizontals in the upper right are fighting for dominance against the diagonal in the middle. You could try cropping out the top and see how it looks as a sort of pseudo panorama. Then, if it is still bothersome, the very slight image angle adjustment should snap the foreground verticals completely straight although I'd be inclined to just leave them.

09-04-2018, 10:09 AM   #5
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Looking at this, and knowing how dragstrips look in person, I think you've done a pretty good job of capturing the real view. I'd either align the building corner dead vertical, or split the difference between the building corner and the flagpole, using the ramp uprights behind everything to create a bit of congruity across the balance of level you'd be creating with that split approach. Ultimately, you almost want the car sitting a little off-level, nose down, as it creates a sense of speed and movement, I think. What you've done here is a great job, IMO, in capturing the real view of the strip if you were just standing there watching. The lines are so divergent in these situations, primarily because most dragstrips have never been really well planned, and most appear to be a hodgepodge of independent additions as the strip grew and evolved over time. Tough to capture a cohesive horizontal or vertical line when the strip construction doesn't provide one.
09-04-2018, 10:18 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by dubyam Quote
Looking at this, and knowing how dragstrips look in person, I think you've done a pretty good job of capturing the real view. I'd either align the building corner dead vertical, or split the difference between the building corner and the flagpole, using the ramp uprights behind everything to create a bit of congruity across the balance of level you'd be creating with that split approach. Ultimately, you almost want the car sitting a little off-level, nose down, as it creates a sense of speed and movement, I think. What you've done here is a great job, IMO, in capturing the real view of the strip if you were just standing there watching. The lines are so divergent in these situations, primarily because most dragstrips have never been really well planned, and most appear to be a hodgepodge of independent additions as the strip grew and evolved over time. Tough to capture a cohesive horizontal or vertical line when the strip construction doesn't provide one.
Thanks, all
09-04-2018, 12:26 PM   #7
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I don't really have anything to add to the excellent comments, except to suggest selecting a few points in the scene to straighten (make vertical) and doing a version of each to compare. It looks good now--certainly not far off.
09-04-2018, 06:06 PM - 1 Like   #8
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I always thought there was something wrong with my camera - it turned out to be me as I list to the right - so I have a lot of experience with leveling the shot :-(

As a start, I make the center of the image vertical. Then, if the buildings or posts or whatever on the side are too distracting, I will correct the perspective to get the sides more vertical. I almost never remove all tilt as the eye usually expects some tilt and will over-correct it the other way.

09-04-2018, 11:39 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by dwalt Quote
I have a bad habit of tilting my head when I pan. I keep an eye on the level in the camera, but when I track motion my head tilts.
So I go to Lightroom to level the shot. However, when I look at all the lines, I don't know how to fix the shot. For example if I pick a sign or post to reference , the short is worse.
When I level the car out because the track is flat, the building looks like its falling over. Am I fighting perspective? And the Christmas Tree is not straight, its bent a bit to the right so I can't use that.
When I'm cropping in Lightroom (Classic CC), I often also use the "Transform" panel in the Develop module.

The transformations can be done while the crop rectangle is still visible. This means some quite tricky alignment and perspective problems can be mitigated.

So I might (for example) make two or more of the things that are vertical in real life vertical and parallel in the image. A building and a lamp-post, for example.

(If I'm ambitious, I might vary the horizontals as well! But that can introduce some unwanted distortions).
09-05-2018, 12:32 AM   #10
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In a shot like this, where the horizontals are not parallel to the sensor plane, I would only correct the verticals.
You could do a little clockwise rotation, and maybe some minor vertical perspective correction if you're feeling really obsessive.
09-05-2018, 12:38 AM   #11
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09-05-2018, 04:47 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
Like this:
Thanks for the help.
09-06-2018, 04:43 AM   #13
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Hi
I really don't see what the problem is.
You should not forget, not every pole is sticking up dead plum in the landscape.

On location your mind doesn't notice it that much because the reference points shift all the time. (It gets worse if you had a few too many ) A photograph is static and then you see it, particularly with the precise borders surrounding it. Trying to correct everything that is not plum in the first place in relation to the one known correct one is futile.


Don't bust your boiler with this, your picture is fine. Me thinks.


Cheers
09-06-2018, 06:07 AM   #14
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comments: Perspective is the appearance to the eye of objects in respect to their relative distance and positions. Look at the upper right corner vertical edge of photo is not parallel to the building vertical lines. This means that your camera is tilted a little bit to the right but not perceptible without measuring it. Acceptable human handling caused by pressing the shutter moves the camera.
09-06-2018, 08:05 AM   #15
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Thanks everyone. All the different lines in the photos I took at the track had me wondering the best way to deal with it. I felt it looked like the cars were running downhill too much.
Anyway, thanks for the advice. I posted pictures from the track under Machinery a few days ago.
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