One of the most common mistakes in photography is the appearance of crooked horizons or badly aligned lines in what is otherwise a beautiful photo. You may use intentional tilts to create an interesting composition, but that’s not what we’re talking about here.
Rather, it’s those badly aligned lines that show up when you aren’t paying attention to or are unaware of the surroundings and background elements that are part of your photographs.
Having straight horizons and lines are crucial in photography for one central reason; folks prefer it this way. Think about this as you look around your home. On the walls, your photos and artwork are straight, usually hung perfectly aligned to the surrounding ceiling, floor, or furniture. The same goes for your TV or computer monitor, which stays on a flat surface or hung aligned to the wall.
The bottom line: We are creators that like things straight because of the visual balance it provides. When we see crooked horizons or lines in a photo, we automatically sense that something isn’t right. In doing so, we’d like to tilt our heads to make those lines straight.
When shooting photos, we often overly concern ourselves with the main subject in a scene. In doing so, we forget about how the surroundings and backgrounds look. They also play a role in capturing a successful image. Therefore, we should all be thinking more about the entire scene before snapping, not just in landscape or architectural photography, but also when taking portraits and capturing images of wildlife.
Ideally, you should shoot straight photos from the get go. To do so, consider shooting with a tripod or with your camera resting on a level surface. Measure the surface using a camera level. Also, use the viewfinder grid display on your camera and line up one of the grid lines with a line in your photograph.
Unfortunately, we often don’t realize just how crooked the lines or the horizon look in a photo until we use automatic raw image processing.
Photography apps offer different tools to fix slanted horizons and lines. Some adjust photo orientation to get the job done. The best-selling Adobe Photoshop provides rulers, a rotating canvas command, and cropping tools for this purpose.
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For example, image rotation commands allow you to flip a picture, or rotate it a fraction of a degree at a time. In doing so, you can straighten the lines ever-so-slightly in your images. With a cropping tool, by contrast, you can draw rectangular selections inside a picture area. From there, you can remove objects outside of the area in such a way to make the image straighter.
The new Photolemur Straight Horizon tool takes the guesswork out of making straight lines. It does so by automatically analyzing and adjusting for any slightly off-kilter horizons or backgrounds. Just import your images into Photolemur, sit back, and see what happens. Just think, photo editing software for Mac that instantly fixes wrong angles on your photos. The Straight Horizon tool is just one of the 12 essential tools that Photolemur uses to improve your photos. It’s a next-generation photo assistant that does 99 percent of the work for you. What’s more awesome than that?
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