Taking level photos

Discussion in 'UK Photography' started by Ian Jackson, Dec 19, 2013.

  1. Ian Jackson

    Ian Jackson Guest

    I find I have a tendency to take photos slightly 'on the slant', so that
    many of my pictures slope slightly downwards to the right. As a result,
    when processing an image, I have to rotate it anticlockwise by typically
    up to a couple of degrees, then crop it. To avoid this, I now make a
    more determined effort to get the camera level in the first place.

    However, I may not be alone with this tendency. Looking at other
    people's photos, it seems that many others may be similarly afflicted.
    OK, you may not always get pictures dead level, but I'm convinced that
    the number of pictures sloping down to the right is far greater than
    those sloping down to the left.

    Assuming I'm not simply imagining things, do right-handed people have a
    natural tendency to hold the camera so it is slightly lower on the left,
    and
    vice versa for left-handers?
     
    Ian Jackson, Dec 19, 2013
    #1
    1. Advertisements

  2. Ian Jackson

    Woody Guest

    I find I have a tendency to take photos slightly 'on the slant', so that
    many of my pictures slope slightly downwards to the right. As a result,
    when processing an image, I have to rotate it anticlockwise by typically
    up to a couple of degrees, then crop it. To avoid this, I now make a
    more determined effort to get the camera level in the first place.

    However, I may not be alone with this tendency. Looking at other
    people's photos, it seems that many others may be similarly afflicted.
    OK, you may not always get pictures dead level, but I'm convinced that
    the number of pictures sloping down to the right is far greater than
    those sloping down to the left.

    Assuming I'm not simply imagining things, do right-handed people have a
    natural tendency to hold the camera so it is slightly lower on the left,
    and
    vice versa for left-handers?
     
    Woody, Dec 19, 2013
    #2
    1. Advertisements

  3. Ian Jackson

    NY Guest

    I find I have a tendency to take photos slightly 'on the slant', so that
    many of my pictures slope slightly downwards to the right. As a result,
    when processing an image, I have to rotate it anticlockwise by typically
    up to a couple of degrees, then crop it. To avoid this, I now make a
    more determined effort to get the camera level in the first place.

    However, I may not be alone with this tendency. Looking at other
    people's photos, it seems that many others may be similarly afflicted.
    OK, you may not always get pictures dead level, but I'm convinced that
    the number of pictures sloping down to the right is far greater than
    those sloping down to the left.

    Assuming I'm not simply imagining things, do right-handed people have a
    natural tendency to hold the camera so it is slightly lower on the left,
    and
    vice versa for left-handers?
    --
    Ian


    If your camera has a viewfinder/screen grid facility, turn it on and all your problems should be over. It also helsp with the 'rule of thirds.'
    My problem is that if I use the grid lines to make sure a horizontal line (eg the horizon) is level, which usually involves tilting the camera up or down until a grid line is over a line in the scene, I find I then rotate the camera again slightly as I'm tilting it back up to the correct composition

    Some people are better at judging whether two lines are parallel or two objects are the same size than other people are. My wife can tell size and parallel at a glance, even when the two objects are a long way apart, whereas I can only judge size and parallel if they are right next to each other so I can compare them side by side without moving my eyes, rather than comparing one object with the *memory* of the other. But then my wife says that she can look at a map for a while, then shut her eyes and "see" it in her memory well enough to navigate by it, which is a skill that can't *begin* to comprehend She apparently acquired it because she gets travel-sick looking at a map (another thing I have no direct comprehension of, being able to read in a car and also not feeling sick travelling backwards on a train), but if she looks at the map before setting off she can "see" all the road numbers and junctions as she is driving.

    It's an interesting observation that the direction of rotation may depend on whether you are left- or right-handed. I suppose it's plausible.
     
    NY, Dec 19, 2013
    #3
  4. Ian Jackson

    Alan Wrigley Guest

    I find that my slopers (which make up a significant proportion on my shots)
    are pretty much evenly split between left and right.

    Alan
     
    Alan Wrigley, Dec 19, 2013
    #4
  5. Ian Jackson

    Darkside Guest

    I'm right handed and unless I'm really careful I hold the camera lower
    on the right. <sigh> I rotate and crop a lot!
     
    Darkside, Dec 19, 2013
    #5
  6. Pretty much all cameras are designed so they have to be used right-handed
    so the natural handedness of the user is unlikely to make a difference to
    the slant.

    There are one or two cameras with spirit levels built in or as hotshoe
    attachments, I think one of the Ricoh GR digital models had one.

    I noticed recently that several of my pictures have a 2 degree slant that I
    didn't notice whilst taking them. Sometimes it doesn't matter, it depends
    on the subject matter.
     
    Gordon Freeman, Dec 20, 2013
    #6
  7. Ian Jackson

    Ian Jackson Guest

    As I'm now taking greater care to hold the camera level, and still
    getting a few slanty pictures, it has crossed my mind whether what you
    see in the viewfinder or display screen is always exactly what gets
    taken. However, I can't see how it could be otherwise.
     
    Ian Jackson, Dec 20, 2013
    #7
  8. Ian Jackson

    Huge Guest

    Ditto.

    Irritating, isn't it?
     
    Huge, Dec 20, 2013
    #8
  9. Ian Jackson

    Alan Wrigley Guest

    Think yourself lucky. In the days of film we had no way of correcting it.

    Alan
     
    Alan Wrigley, Dec 20, 2013
    #9
  10. Ian Jackson

    Paul Rudin Guest

    My K5 (and presumably many other cameras) has a little spirit level
    thingy in the view finder, which helps. It's surprising how far away
    from one's instinctive orientation you need to be to get the thing
    level.
     
    Paul Rudin, Dec 20, 2013
    #10
  11. Ian Jackson

    Alan Wrigley Guest

    If you crop a transparency it no longer fits into the guides in a 35mm
    mount, and will slip around in the mount.

    Alan
     
    Alan Wrigley, Dec 20, 2013
    #11
  12. As long as you correct it before you show them to others, is it a
    problem? ;-)

    I do, and I've grid lines on in the vf!

    As a photo judge I'm amazed at the number of photos with uphill seas I
    see!

    Mike
     
    Michael J Davis, Dec 20, 2013
    #12
  13. In that case it's called "masking"!

    Mike
     
    Michael J Davis, Dec 20, 2013
    #13
  14. Necessary for water skiing though.
     
    Gordon Freeman, Dec 22, 2013
    #14
  15. It could be that as you squeeze the shutter release you are raising your
    hand slightly as well as lowering your finger.
     
    Gordon Freeman, Dec 22, 2013
    #15
  16. Ian Jackson

    Ian Jackson Guest

    I suppose the best marine ski slopes are to be found in mountainous
    seas.
     
    Ian Jackson, Dec 22, 2013
    #16
  17. You're moving (rotating slightly) the camera as you press the shutter
    release. Brace the camera with your other hand.

    --
    Stephen Thomas Cole.
    UK Usenet Head of Social Media and PR.

    This post was sent from my iPhone, likely whilst walking, so may have typos
    or bizarre auto-corrects.
     
    Stephen Thomas Cole, Jan 2, 2014
    #17
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.