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Author Topic: What looks straight or what is straight?  (Read 10887 times)

JordanM

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What looks straight or what is straight?
« on: January 26, 2010, 08:37:32 PM »

I think we've all had the feeling at one time or another that, even though we know a photograph is perfectly straight, it feels or looks crooked, like it needs to be rotated to make everything feel "right".  This is just the simple question, what do you personally do? Do you rotate it, or go by what is actually straight (bubble level/aircraft level)?

I'm sorry if this is in the wrong place.
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JeffKohn

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What looks straight or what is straight?
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2010, 10:09:30 PM »

I think it's preferable to look straight than to actually be straight. The tricky images are when there are multiple conflicting indicators of what 'level' is supposed to be, so that no matter what you do some part of the image makes it look like it's not level.

Slobodan Blagojevic

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What looks straight or what is straight?
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2010, 10:25:49 PM »

There are several optical phenomena that would make straight lines look crooked. I would personally rely on visual perception rather than a math formula or measuring instrument. For instance, when you try correcting barrel distortion in an architectural shot... after Photoshop, the lines would be measuring as perfectly vertical and straight, yet still looked bent to a naked eye... I believe it is known as Hering illusion.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2010, 10:26:15 PM by Slobodan Blagojevic »
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EduPerez

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What looks straight or what is straight?
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2010, 03:20:17 AM »

I care more about the feeling that the viewer gets than the technical correctness of the image; so, if one of my photographs looks crocked, I will "correct" it. Unfortunately, on some occasions this correction is hard to achieve, and rotating the image is not possible / enough; shearing it usually helps in those cases.
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LoisWakeman

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What looks straight or what is straight?
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2010, 10:19:31 AM »

I'm with the others - it has to look straight, even if a spirit level reveals otherwise. We appreciate images with our brains, not measuring instruments!
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RSL

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What looks straight or what is straight?
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2010, 10:45:34 AM »

The other thing you can do is take the Garry Winogrand approach: cock the thing far enough that no one can mistake the fact that it's supposed to be cocked. It works with street photography and with certain architectural shots. Anyone want to try it with landscape?
« Last Edit: January 27, 2010, 11:19:07 AM by RSL »
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ckimmerle

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What looks straight or what is straight?
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2010, 11:35:55 AM »

Personally, I could care less if the horizon is level, or even looks level. If it doesn't bother the photographer, or was slanted on purpose, who am I, as a viewer, to argue?
« Last Edit: January 27, 2010, 11:52:05 AM by ckimmerle »
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stamper

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What looks straight or what is straight?
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2010, 06:40:36 AM »

Quote from: JeffKohn
I think it's preferable to look straight than to actually be straight. The tricky images are when there are multiple conflicting indicators of what 'level' is supposed to be, so that no matter what you do some part of the image makes it look like it's not level.

In Photoshop it is possible to distort parts of the image and "straighten" them. Unfortunately it can't be done as a smart object in CS3. I don't know about CS4 though?

kikashi

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What looks straight or what is straight?
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2010, 02:33:44 PM »

Quote from: ckimmerle
If it doesn't bother the photographer, or was slanted on purpose, who am I, as a viewer, to argue?
The bloke with the cash who's going to pay for it?

Jeremy
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HickersonJasonC

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What looks straight or what is straight?
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2010, 07:42:42 PM »

The Parthenon was actually constructed "crooked" in order to appear straight. Try googling "parthenon optical illusions," very interesting stuff.
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fredjeang

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What looks straight or what is straight?
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2010, 03:12:13 AM »

Quote from: HickersonJasonC
The Parthenon was actually constructed "crooked" in order to appear straight. Try googling "parthenon optical illusions," very interesting stuff.
Hi,
The Parthenon is a 3D object. It has been taken into account the fact that there is also a vertical perspective from the average human height ( from the eye's line ), so the calculations involved are very different because they integrate the real human scale to the real object in a real 3d world. If you were apllying these rules in 2D, (even computer 3D = 2D real), the result would be a strong deformation unstraight.

This as been tried. I've been working when student in Fine Arts with Tjerd Alkema, a specialist of the anamorphosis process. Good calculations in the real world are actually not working in 2D world, because it is another reality.

Fred.
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erictoddjohnson

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What looks straight or what is straight?
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2010, 12:44:48 PM »

Quote from: RSL
The other thing you can do is take the Garry Winogrand approach: cock the thing far enough that no one can mistake the fact that it's supposed to be cocked. It works with street photography and with certain architectural shots. Anyone want to try it with landscape?

I don't, but Shomei Tomatsu has done it with a seascape:  "Untitled Hateruma-jima", Okinawa 1971

http://images.artnet.com/artwork_images/143415/106704.jpg

See more of his work at:

http://www.wretch.cc/blog/shihlun/1697661
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RSL

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What looks straight or what is straight?
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2010, 03:09:19 PM »

Looks as if Shomei sort of screwed up with You Tube.

rc53

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What looks straight or what is straight?
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2010, 03:12:33 PM »

Quote from: HickersonJasonC
The Parthenon was actually constructed "crooked" in order to appear straight. Try googling "parthenon optical illusions," very interesting stuff.

or google 'entasis'.
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Sláinte

Robert

fredjeang

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What looks straight or what is straight?
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2010, 10:24:26 AM »

See this master:

Georges Rousse
http://www.georgesrousse.com/english/reception.html

Really serious stuff.

Fred.
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Jason DiMichele

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What looks straight or what is straight?
« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2010, 04:00:31 PM »

Stick with what feels right. There are a lot of situations when creating art, one's instincts should be the driving force. If there is too much contemplating/analyzing then I believe the art probably won't be as strong as it could have been.


Cheers,
Jay
www.jasondimichele.com
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Jason DiMichele
Fine Art Photographer and Printer
www.jasondimichele.com
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