Get It Straight

Again my topic is photography. If that’s what’s on my mind, that’s what’s gonna be on my blog.

This month I’m concentrating on architectural photography. As you might know, a first and foremost problem when taking pictures of buildings is the phenomenon of vertical converging lines – the buildings look like they are about to topple over – and how to deal with them. Well, you can either use them to create a dramatic effect or try to get rid of them.

If you want to avoid the converging lines you can use a tilt/shift lens. That’s the more expensive solution and probably the best if you are willing to invest. There is also a software solution. At some loss of image quality, post processing can fix up the perspective. You just have to find your vertical lines and line them up with the lines on a grid.

It all sounded pretty straight forward and I was doing fine until I started working on a photo of a building where I couldn’t identify right angles and didn’t know which lines were intended as verticals or slanted lines  – as you can see in this picture of the modern annex to the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich.

As a contrast, here is a shot of the main building of Munich’s Academy of Fine Arts which was easier to deal with.

And here are some more pictures.

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5 Responses to Get It Straight

  1. Using software to correct converging verticals can be a problem, especially when there are diagonals in the scene as well as verticals and horizontals. It is also a problem when a wide angle lens is used fairly close to the subject. Best to use a tilt-shift if you can, but if not, it takes some planning. Thanks for the article.

    • Thanks for the feedback, Aubrey. Yes, a TS-lens would be nice. Your’re right, the wide angle is a problem close up, but sometimes it’s the only way to get the parked cars out of the picture and I prefer the perspective distortion to the cars.

      • There is one bit of hope on the tilt-shift front if you use Canon. The old version of the 24mm TS is a great lens and is available at a bargain price. We used it for years.

  2. Anita Mac says:

    I find architectural photography to be one of the most difficult genres. I started photographing old buildings at night – a niche area, but it has become a favourite. Your shot of the modern annex is awesome – love the way the different lines move, merge and really make me take a second look. Nice.

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