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Thread: Converging verticals... Yay or Nay?

  1. #1
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    Converging verticals... Yay or Nay?

    Okay, so everyone knows that converging verticals can be a distracting photographic element. They can also be used to artistic effect. However, I've always had a hard time deciding where the line between 'obviously done on purpose' and 'just plain ugly' is. I took a shot yesterday where I was sure I wanted to include them for an unsettling perspective... but now I look at the photo on my monitor I'm really not sure. Opinions? No need to sugarcoat, I rely on constructive criticism.

    Also if anyone has any photographs they would like to share with deliberately converging verticals I'd be grateful.


  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by w349 View Post
    Okay, so everyone knows that converging verticals can be a distracting photographic element.
    See, that's something I've always wondered about.
    I've seen photos taken with various Shift lenses, generally in Shifted and Unshifted comparisons, and sometimes the unshifted-with-converging-lines actually looks better to me. It looks more real, shift-lens shots just look 'fake' somehow.
    Has anyone else had this?

    On another note, my mum bought a 35mm Soligor lens for her Spotmatic back in 1970 or so. She didn't like it, said it 'distorted' buildings too much, so bought a Takumar 35mm instead, and liked it. Many years later, she was telling me about this, I immediately presumed 'barrel distortion'. But I put both lenses (and various others) on my camera, shot a few poor-man's-distortion-charts (printed from Excel), and couldn't see any barrelling. So I asked again, and she said it was more that "the buildings looked like they were falling over" (ie, unshifted pointing upwards). So she can see the problems, but to me it's more aesthetically pleasing to have a vanishing point of perspective I suppose.

    Meanwhile, as for your shot, I like it, it definitely gives that "worm's eye view" perspective...
    An awful lot of electrons were terribly inconvenienced in the making of this post.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Croubie View Post
    I've seen photos taken with various Shift lenses, generally in Shifted and Unshifted comparisons, and sometimes the unshifted-with-converging-lines actually looks better to me. It looks more real, shift-lens shots just look 'fake' somehow.
    I know what you mean, but I think that is user error. Have a look at this article from Luminous Landscapes: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tu...using-ts.shtml

    The author writes: "For those new to camera movements; my opinion is to never correct converging verticals into perfect parallels. It is the best way to make a building look as if it will fall on top of you and one of my long-time pet hates in architectural photography. I almost always leave a little convergence. After all, it is a normal visual phenomenon!"

  4. #4
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    I say Yay!

    I like the backward lean and converging verticals in this shot. I think it makes the building look even more dangerous than it already is. I'm definitely not going in there!

    Rich

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    Senior Member conropl's Avatar
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    Yay!

    I like the angle. It would not have the same feel to it if it was shot straight on.
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    Moderator Steve U's Avatar
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    Another in the yay camp, very foreboding.
    Steve U
    Wine, Food and Photography Student and Connoisseur

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    Thanks everyone. I've got a little hung up on this detail, so in future I will trust my gut more.

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    I like things symmetric or obviously not, so, though the perspective distortion works here, I would correct the slight off-horizontal part and also center the door. I would also like to see a version with the sky cropped out. It is competing for my eye's attention. Also, with so much distracting detail, adding a little vignette (depending on your taste) might focus attention more on the door.

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