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My old nemesis - Horizon not level

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  • My old nemesis - Horizon not level

    Hi,

    As some of you might be aware that I have a big problem with levelling horizon and framing. I don't know why but it might be something to do with my high level of astigmatism. That's my excuse anyway..... Thanks to screeners such as Paul Nichols who have give me helpful tips to counter this dilemma to certain extent.

    The following pic (rightly?) got rejected and my appeal was rejected too with the original reason.

    http://www.jetphotos.net/viewreject_b.php?id=2955166

    In the appeal reason I put something like "I tried long to level this pic but the background buildings are for some reason at different vertical angles. It is impossible to make all of them straight up at the same time. This is may be due to heat/exhaust distortion. Therefore I used the building under construction in the middle and the tree line to level it as much as possible".

    Now my question is how do you level this sort of pic? Or it is simply for the bin/personal collection?

    .
    CheersAziz



  • #2
    Hello Aziz,
    I remember your shot from yesterday evening, I was the first screener and voted to add it, however a senior decided to instant reject because he felt it was leaning to the left and to be honest after looking at it again, I have to agree with him. It needs clockwise rotation as the buildings in the background lean to the left.

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    • #3
      Often have the same problem. Lately, I've been looking into something like http://www.whatdigitalcamera.com/equ...rit-level.html as a possible solution. Would be interested to hear if anyone uses such an accessory.

      I'm thinking that after using a leveller, if pictures still don't look right you can at least be sure that it's the background objects that are in the wrong.

      Bruce

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      • #4
        Originally posted by UKbruce View Post
        I'm thinking that after using a leveller, if pictures still don't look right you can at least be sure that it's the background objects that are in the wrong.
        It's a good idea but the problem I think is that quite often you're shooting things at odd angles, like the south side at MAN where you're shooting kind of down the runway but from the side. In these circumstances the camera may be perfectly level but the image will still look unlevel, so it's more a case of levelling the shot rather than the camera (which sound like the same thing but hopefully you know what I mean!) The assumption that the camera is level and therefore everything seen through the lens must also be only really works when you're perfectly square on to perfectly vertical objects, which isn't really that often the case with aviation photography, especially at rather sloping airports like my local, LBA! That said, it may be worth trying and if it works then all is good.
        Seeing the world with a 3:2 aspect ratio...

        My images on Flickr

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        • #5
          I dont see anything wrong with it;btw boeingfreak you have to vote to add pictures??
          August 29th will be the worst day of the year.

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          • #6
            Try shooting your pictures from a sitting position looking up, in other words, shoot it with just the sky behind it and do away with buildings and horizon altogether.
            Or photo shop the offending images out or correct them.
            Or using a digital camera, set it up on a tri-pod, take pictures of the background first and check to see the alignment, then delete the photos.
            Just some ideas.

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            • #7
              Some pictures are just difficult to level and look strange no matter what you do.

              It's no guarantee but it helps if you leave a note to the screeners, explaining what you used to level the picture. Same is true for strange crops. Just explain why you cropped it in a certain way.

              Roel.

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              • #8
                Aziz,
                Just my little bit of advice. Levelling is a mind field no doubt about it when the background is cluttered I tend to level to something in the center of the frame.

                Just a couple of pointers based on images in DB.
                [photoid=6823058]
                This example the plane looks like something architectual disastor. However the lamp posts are levelled and are running vertical in much the same way the wire thing above the nose is truely vertical.

                [photoid=6825168]
                This photo has one thousand and one things sticking all over the place.
                However I levelled using the verticle edge of the hotel on the side of the building with the '4m' logo.

                [photoid=6823301]
                Manchester is a swine to level from, in this case as there is nothing to judge against in the background I levelled the center of the propellers.

                Hope that helps
                Ryan

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                • #9
                  There is a simple solution. Check vertical features in buildings. Use guides in your editing software and put them over a vertical line in a building.

                  If you are using a wide angle you need to check a reference point in the centre, if there is no reference in the centre, make sure the left and right side are equally off. For example if the left side leans to the left and the right side is ok, then it is wrong. Left side should lean a little to the left and right side a little to the right.
                  Last edited by seahawk; 2010-04-20, 04:27.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by BoeingKing77 View Post
                    I dont see anything wrong with it;btw boeingfreak you have to vote to add pictures??
                    The screening page allows us to either direct accept/reject a photo or to vote to accept/reject a photo, which means a second or perhaps even a third screener will vote on this photo.

                    The photo in question is one of those, which can really trick the photographer or the screener. What I do in such cases is to fade out the distubring facotrs, either by simply looking at the picture from 0.5 or 1 m away, or zoom some 200-400 into something I know for sure has to be level, usually a building. In either case if the photo or zoom looks good then OK, no matter what the photo may look like as a whole.

                    What does not help is to try to level the photo after some beers .... just to point it out
                    My photos on Flickr www.flickr.com/photos/geridominguez

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by BoeingKing77 View Post
                      I dont see anything wrong with it;btw boeingfreak you have to vote to add pictures??
                      Yes, I chose just to vote on it, because I was unsure about the horizon, IMO it is much more fair towards the photographer instead of instant rejecting it. Instant Reject or Instant Accept should only be used in very clear cases.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by LX-A343 View Post
                        What does not help is to try to level the photo after some beers .... just to point it out
                        Ah bollocks, so that's where I've been going wrong! That said I'm usually drunk when I take the photo and drunk when I edit, so it kinda balances out.
                        Seeing the world with a 3:2 aspect ratio...

                        My images on Flickr

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                        • #13
                          Hi All,

                          Thanks very much for your feedbacks. Enjoyed reading the posts .

                          I rarely do or achieve levelling by eye-balling it. As already mentioned by few here, I always use grids in PS to line up against some object in the background. But on this particular photo as you can see all the buildings are at different vertical angles, which could be due to various reasons. Now I also know from the feedbacks that some pictures are just like that! Luckily it's the first such for me, but I do remember seeing a similar issue in the forum with a ramp shot from someone.

                          I have other shots from this sequence where the background is less busy and less confusing. But I like shots where sometimes the background brings a bit of character to the shot rather than having all my shots with blank sky as the background (here is my attempt to be high and mighty ). There is nothing wrong with the sky as the background and I have loads of shots like that but I like a bit of variation every now and then.

                          BTW - here is a version of the photo where I did some CW rotations. Would this be acceptable? Otherwise I have to go and find who spiked my tea
                          Last edited by DC10&MD11; 2010-04-19, 16:53. Reason: correcting typo
                          CheersAziz


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                          • #14
                            Looks ok to me - Aziz !

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                            • #15
                              I use to work with CS2 and always take advantage of the horizon / vertical line, before struggling with runway slope, keystone correction on buildings or lampposts in the background ("I coud have sworn, it has been in level..."), while the pictured aircraft is just rotating.


                              get FRA spotting informations here:
                              www.Frankfurt-Aviation-Friends.eu

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