A little help please in editing; train photo

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Moodyville-ain, Nov 20, 2009.

  1. Moodyville-ain

    Moodyville-ain TPF Noob!

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    I submitted this to a rail picture website and they rejected it because of an unlevel horizon.

    [​IMG]

    I'm not sure how I can properly level it because of the foreshortening. Plus add the fact the left side is a short bush and the right side are huge trees (not the obvious coconut trees but the bushy ones just above the passenger cars) They are not even the same height - side by side.

    Personally I think my B&W version is better, but I didn't want to break the rules by cross posting. I put the black and white version in "general" so technically its a different photo in sepia.

    Heres the unaltered, uncopped version. As you can see I cloned out the distracting power line from my saved version.

    [​IMG]

    Please post your edited versions. It would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Bitter Jeweler

    Bitter Jeweler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    [​IMG]
     
  3. Inst!nct

    Inst!nct TPF Noob!

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    whats up with the quality jwler?
     
  4. Provo

    Provo TPF Noob!

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    This train shot is really neat
     
  5. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    Leveling is not the big problem. While it is slightly off of level, the big problem is that the camera was tilted upward causing significant keystoning.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Bitter Jeweler

    Bitter Jeweler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Photobucket.
     
  7. Moodyville-ain

    Moodyville-ain TPF Noob!

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    Thanks everyone for their input. I appreciate all of it.

    Bitter Jeweler; I concur that it's ruler level. But I just know from actually being there that the bush on the left is about 10' tall and those on the right are 20-25' tall. A better way to put it is; The coconut tree on the left, is the same height as the coconut trees on the right. So as you can see the bushy trees just below the coconut trees on the right are much higher in comparison

    [​IMG]



    Dwig - That's an explanation I can live with, and understand......(after looking it up :blushing:) But I tried for an hour to replicate what you did with the origional resolution and I can't seem to get it right. Thank you for the explanation, and your time. Did you just skew? distort? something else? Could you elaborate on what you did?

    Heres yours cropped.
    [​IMG]

    Obviously the resolution is crap. But does the photo get ruined by the crop? 2 passenger cars are lost, out of the 4. The cab of the train, and the coaches are straight.... but now the horizon isn't right. Is there hope for the origional.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2009
  8. Bitter Jeweler

    Bitter Jeweler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The heigth of the bushes is of no concern. Straighten it to the verticals of your subject.
     
  9. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    I used Photoshop so I'll have to use PS's terms. If you're using another app you may need to translate them.

    I started by unlocking (aka "floating") the layer so that I could use the Transforms. The first Transform that I used was Perspective. I simiply dragged one of the top cormers to the side until the verticals (edges of engine cab and edges of the various cars) were parallel. When I got close I dragged vertical Guides out from the Ruler to use for reference. I then switched back and forth between Free Transform (to rotate, Rotate could also have been used) and Perspective to get the verticals both parallel and vertical.

    This type of distortion in PS will often cause some stretch in the image. I did just a little horizontal stretch in Free Transform judging by eye the shape of the round front of the engine (this is why I tend to use Free Transform instead of Rotate). I generally avoid using Skew, either by itself or in Perspective, as much as possible. I then expanded the Canvas to show the whole distorted image to give you an idea of the amount of Perspective transform and rotation were done.

    This is the type of "correction" I do regularily. I do a lot of architectural mockup images as part of my job as graphic designer for a sign company. Sometimes I have the luxury of working with my own images, where little correction is needed, but all too often I have to work with very poorly done snapshots produced by the sales staff.

    When shooting this type of image it is sometimes best to not tilt the camera. If you keep the image plane perfectly vertical there will be no keystoning. This will usually leave an excessive amount of "blank" foreground at the bottom of the image that will need to be cropped later. It also requires that you use a wider lens, or shoot from a greater distance, so that the cropped image has the field of view you desire. There is some detail/sharpness loss with either the cropping technique or the Transforms in PS. The best results will often be a compromise using a little of both. For my sign mockups, the cropping technique generally works well as final reproduction is generally limited to less than 8x10". I generally end up doing some Transforms because I live and work in a tiny town with narrow streets (Key West FL) and with my widest lens is a 24mm (35mm equivalent, or 16mm APS-c equivalent) I often can't frame loose enough to avoid some tilting of the camera.
     
  10. Moodyville-ain

    Moodyville-ain TPF Noob!

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    Thank you for taking the time to explain things, and to help edit.

    How does this look?..... The coaches are straight... hows the horizon? Any other problems besides the power lines?
    [​IMG]

    I will clone out the power lines after, I get the rest corected.
     
  11. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    It looks pretty good. There might be a very slight vertical stretch left over from the Transforms, but if so it very minor. Palm trees are always problems. Not only don't they don't grow straight, they tend to all tilt similar directions based on sun and most frequent wind direction. All the palms in the picture lean to the right giving a tilted look until you look at the pines and the train itself. I think is about as level as you can get.
     
  12. Bitter Jeweler

    Bitter Jeweler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The diagonal stretch is very apparent.
     

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