Images & Observations

The Day Spa

Nikon D7000 10-24mm @ 17mm ISO 640 3-bkts f/25 Lr3, HEP1, TpzSim; PsCS5

This facade and entry of the Peaches & Cream Day Spa were captured just up the street from the corner where we started a walk to capture shop windows, Foothill & Glendora Avenue, in Glendora, California.  (Depicted in the Waiting For The Light image from this past Monday.)  I had a heck of a time trying to get the horizontal lines straight in this image, lines towards the top seemed at odds with lines at the bottom.  There is a slight incline of this street as it heads up towards the mountains, I think I might have been better off if I had just made the roof line perfectly level, instead of compromising between the levelness of the roof line and the levelness of the baseline of the building.

14 responses

  1. Ken Bello

    There are several tricks to use to get parallel lines to actually be parallel. Ideally, it would be nice to have a PC tilt/shift lens for architecture. I had one years ago and it worked well for subject like this, although it was time consuming to use. If you don’t have a PC lens you can select the entire layer in Photoshop and go to Free Transform – Perspective. and adjust the handles to straighten up the lines. i add some horizontal guide lines before transforming as an aid. After the horizontal lines are adjusted you can use this same technique on the vertical lines to get them parallel. This gives you a more head-on shot without any converging lines or the “building falling back” look. Before any adjustment in PS, apply any Lens Correction necessary in Lightroom or ACR. This could remove any curvature caused by a wide angle lens. The unfortunate part of correcting lines in a photo is that it usually involves cropping. That seems unavoidable but if you know beforehand, it’s probably a good idea to zoom out or step back a bit to include a little extra in the frame that can be cropped out later.
    I hope you don’t think me overcritical, but it sounded like you weren’t happy about the lines being “at odds”. Photographing architecture can be very demanding but photographers have been using tricks like these for many years.

    October 26, 2011 at 1:09 PM

    • Thanks, Ken. Your constructive feedback is always welcome. I had tried lens correction in Lightroom, but it had no impact. It would have been better if I had captured more of the scene in the frame so that I could use the perspective correction tools in Photoshop, as you suggest. One of my problems when capturing shop windows is that I can only back the power chair no closer than about six inches to the edge of the curb and Judy will not let me get away with driving the chair out in to the street (and cars parked at the curb would get in the way). I recently acquired a fish eye lens, so will be playing with that when capturing shop windows, then I think I can better utilize the perspective tools in Photoshop.

      October 26, 2011 at 1:31 PM

      • Ken Bello

        I did a little research and it looks like the Nikon 24mm PC lens is only suitable for a full frame camera and not recommended on a DX format. And it’s over $1800, too rich for my blood. The cheapest way you can take advantage of this lens is to have a D700 full frame camera. at around $2700. Now you’re getting into pro-photographer territory. Don’t get me wrong, I’d like to have both of these, but my pockets aren’t that deep.
        I had another thought and that is to shoot with a medium tele from across the street. Of course this only works when there’s no cars parked that could get in the way and light traffic, so you can shoot between cars. That’s not feasible a lot of times.
        One more thing – the Lens Correction feature in ACR or LR3 is only meant to correct slight barrel or pin cushion distortion, so I feel it’s a necessary adjustment when there are straight lines in the photo, even if it’s a very minor adjustment. Good luck shooting and I’m looking forward to seeing some fish eye shots in the future.

        October 26, 2011 at 4:26 PM

  2. I try to apply the Lr lens correction the first time I touch my files after import. I don’t always do that, and then run the risk of forgetting that fact when I use the frames for HDR’s. I’ll have to look into seeing if I can configure the lens correction to occur as part of an automated import process.

    I am waiting for the D800 to come out, then I can lust after that. But I’m afraid the price point may be above not just my wife’s tolerance, but above my tolerance too. 😉

    I’ll have some fish eye shots of shop windows up in the future, just started using it.

    October 26, 2011 at 8:11 PM

  3. I think having the lines naturally skewed adds a tremendous amount to an image. Like this. I love it the way it is. The street might not be straight, but you can always manipulate the horizon, unless you are going for the uber real feel. I would straighten it a tad. Otherwise, I think this shot rocks!

    October 27, 2011 at 2:36 AM

    • Thanks, Adam. I appreciate your perspective on my perspective (pun intended) and you do raise the point that with art there is not any one right way.

      October 27, 2011 at 11:41 AM

  4. This is a really pretty shot, Wayne.
    Lots of good feedback on this in terms of straightening it up a tad. I had a similar circumstance fairly recently. I did a slight crop (with perspective box checked in PS) and adjusted the horizon line which worked out well. Of course, every photo and circumstance is different. I enjoy these types of discussions. 😉

    October 27, 2011 at 4:24 AM

    • Agree with you, Jimi, the comment interaction is what actually makes the blogging experience rewarding for me. I have met a lot of friendly, knowledgable, interesting and generous people through all of this. The photography community as a microcosm of the concept of different people coming together with a common interest that results in helping and supporting each other, and it is a concept that would be really refreshing if it were emulated in national political discussion. (Stepping down from my soapbox now.)

      October 27, 2011 at 11:52 AM

  5. Love the color in this. So much of it.

    October 27, 2011 at 7:24 AM

    • Thanks, Aaron. I’ve been pushing the color a lot recently.

      October 27, 2011 at 11:53 AM

  6. I love the colors in this image. The information in comments above is really helpful. correcting perspective can often be tricky and I’ve learnt something through the first piece of advice about Free Transform – Perspective. If I know I’m gong to mess around significantly with the lens distortion tool then I start be expanding the canvas bay 2cms or so all round so that I avoid the occasional situation when part of the original image disappears off the side, top, bottom of the frame. That way you can avoid losing part of the original image during the distortion corrections.

    October 27, 2011 at 9:29 AM

    • Thanks for stopping by, LensScraper and I think you and the rest of us here are on the same wave length in terms sharing our knowledge and experience and passions. As example your mountaineering images in your blog are a great window in to your passion.

      October 27, 2011 at 12:05 PM

  7. You just keep getting stronger with this painted look, Wayne.

    October 28, 2011 at 12:03 PM

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