Wednesday, November 21, 2007

It's all about Perspective

Kuwait Grand Mosque
Originally uploaded by Cajie.
We've all seen pictures like this. They suffer from a phenomenon called perspective distortion. This happens when you take a camera and point it in such a way that the lens is not parallel with the ground. For e.g., when we find a building that is high, our tendency is to point the camera upwards. This distorts the image and it feels as though the building is going to fall down.

Perspective distortion happens because the lens is not able to resolve straight lines as straight due to the angle at which the lens is positioned. For architechture photography, this type of distortion is not acceptable, and photographers use specialized lenses called perspective correction lenses.

Since a normal user will not use PC lenses, Here are some ideas to avoid perspective distortion in your pictures.

1. Instead of shooting from up close, try to find a location further from the subject and use a telephoto lens to take the picture.
2. Shoot with perspective distortion and then edit in Photoshop. PS has a feature that allows you to do perspective correction.

In this picture, you can clearly see the perspective distortion as the tower of the mosque seems to be falling down - even though the horizon line is straight. But in this case, it's okay. I actually like the effect.

Here are some more pictures I took from the same vantage point that exhibit perspective distortion.

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