On converging verticals

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On converging verticals

Postby Richard Briggs » Sun Feb 28, 2016 10:39 am

On this subject (and you are free to call me a 'bit slow'!) I made an important discovery 3 years ago.

I had been led to believe that vertical distortion (e.g. converging verticals) was a shortcoming of lenses and that the solution was to use post processing to ensure those verticals were indeed vertical. But I remember specifically some shots of skyscrapers taken in downtown Miami where I'd straightened the verticals and the result just did not look right. But it must be right, I thought, because the verticals are now vertical.

And then I went on a beginner's painting course. And when out one day with an assignment to paint an old building, the instructor pointed out that the vertical sides were not vertical and, in fact, they converged simply by the angle we were looking at the building. And that's when the penny dropped. Verticals, to the human eye, will always converge and the degree is dependent on your position relative to the subject. Skyscrapers being probably the most extreme.

So, the conclusion I came to was, yes, do some level of correction to counter lens distortion but remember to leave some element of converging vertical because that's what your naked eye sees.


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Re: On converging verticals

Postby admin » Mon Feb 29, 2016 10:52 am

That's right. When looking slightly up at a skyscraper, the lines will converge in the same way as railway lines do. In a sense the parallel edges of a large building are no different to parallel railway lines.


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