JayDavis
Topic Author
Posts: 1870
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2001 1:09 pm

Leveling Question

Mon Apr 24, 2006 9:38 am

The weather wasn't that great at DFW today nor was the action of the planes coming in. However, we got a couple of shots of some planes taxiing by Founder's Plaza and I have a question about them.

If you've ever been out there, you'll know the angle I am shooting at so how in the world do you ever actually "level" the shots to make them acceptable to be uploaded on this site?

Here are two examples, with no retouching at all.

http://img221.imageshack.us/img221/5213/n640rw1qf.jpg

and

http://img78.imageshack.us/img78/3558/hprj0sq.jpg
 
glennstewart
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Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2003 9:11 am

RE: Leveling Question

Mon Apr 24, 2006 10:56 am

This is understandably a common question; and a completely relevant one.

You've suggested the most common and reliable method: rotation with the use of vertical structures (e.g. fences, buildings, light poles). This thankfully works for the majority of shots.

It seems every airport has a poorly leveled section in which even rotating with the above rule seems to produce weird looking shots.

My rules for editing go something like this:

1. Rotate using verticals that are actually 90 degrees (we all know that airport light poles aren't always planted straight)
2. If in doubt, rotate until it "feels right" and "looks right".

Your second shot for example of the America West CRJ looks wrong. You could probably rotate using the fence in the background, but even then it might still look wrong.

It's not an official screening recommendation, but keep rotating bit by bit in cases like this until you get to a point where you know it's right. Oh.... make sure you reverse each rotation, because rotation upon rotation will only add error to the shot.

Glenn
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JayDavis
Topic Author
Posts: 1870
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RE: Leveling Question

Mon Apr 24, 2006 12:17 pm

Glenn,

Thanks for the reply. I don't understand your last comments though.
Make sure you reverse each rotation, because rotation upon rotation will only add error to the shot?

What do you mean with this comment? I'm totally confused by it.


As for the other tips, that is my problem. It just seems some shots, no matter how hard you try, you just can't get them to "look level".........this spot at DFW poses a very hard choice each and every time you shoot there.


Jay
 
bubbles
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RE: Leveling Question

Mon Apr 24, 2006 12:58 pm

Quoting JayDavis (Reply 2):
What do you mean with this comment?

Hi Jay,

I think Glenn meant, before doing next trial rotation, you should make sure you have rolled back (or reversed) the previous rotation you made; or in other words, in simple, the image should only be rotated once from the original state, and recursive rotations (rotation upon rotation) will add error to the shot.

E.g., you did CW rotation 1.0 to a photo, and felt it had been done too much. You should roll back that rotation; and try CW rotation 0.7 and see if it's good. If not, you should continue above steps. But you shouldn't rotate CW 1.0, then CCW 0.3, etc.  Wink

_Hongyin_

[Edit: give an example.]

[Edited 2006-04-24 06:10:14]
 
glennstewart
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RE: Leveling Question

Mon Apr 24, 2006 2:37 pm

Quoting JayDavis (Reply 2):
Thanks for the reply. I don't understand your last comments though.
Make sure you reverse each rotation, because rotation upon rotation will only add error to the shot?

Hongyin understood correctly...

I meant (Photoshop keys as an example):

1. Rotate 0.5 degrees
2. Correct?
3. If not: Undo - Ctrl + Z
4. Rotate 0.6 degrees
5. Correct?
6. If not: Undo - Ctrl + Z
7. Rotate 0.7 degrees


If you rotate 0.5, then 0.1, then 0.1 to achieve 0.7 rotation, you have introduced errors to the shot.

Always undo a change that wasn't successful (unless you're doing colour/contrast/level changes - you can actually fade these but that's another thread altogether).

Glenn
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JayDavis
Topic Author
Posts: 1870
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RE: Leveling Question

Thu Apr 27, 2006 12:42 am

Glenn and Bubbles,

Thanks for the explanation.

I did not realize that about making an rotation in Photoshop.


Thanks!


Jay
 
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ZSOFN
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RE: Leveling Question

Thu Apr 27, 2006 1:30 am

The way I do it when there's no obvious levelling reference in the photo is imagine I'm balancing the camera on a pole at the angle at which I took the shot. If, as I look at it, I imagine it toppling over to one side, then I need to correct it accordingly.

I would say your first shot needs some CCW rotation and the 2nd shot some CW.
 
glennstewart
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Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2003 9:11 am

RE: Leveling Question

Thu Apr 27, 2006 10:28 am

A handy tool in Photoshop for rotation is the "measure tool".

http://www.webdesign.org/web/photosh...es-with-the-measure-tool.3717.html
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