Are there any resources online that help to understand perspective and the warping it causes?

When I search, all I get is info on how to use Photoshop's perspective warp.

I would like to understand which way I need to adjust my camera to get perfectly centered compositions. I know I could "fix it in post", but there are often objects that give it away.

Sometimes, it'll look to me, for example, like the bottom and left edges are straight, but the top and right edges are at an angle. So I adjust for that, of course, ending up making my bottom and/or left edges angled... So what want to understand is how the camera affects the angles, and how to adjust for them.

This is for shooting indoor spaces, paintings, things like that.

5 Answers

  • 5 months ago

    Good answers from everyone. The most simple answer to your problem is THE CAMERA MUST BE LEVEL at all angles. As has been stated, some perspective distortion is simply not avoidable, especially with close objects using a wide angle lens. But to give yourself a fighting chance, you must be sure your camera is STRAIGHT on the tripod. No tilt to right or left or up and down. Using a bubble level is better than nothing, but if your camera has it, a built in level system in the camera is far better. Check to see if your camera has this. It looks much like the level indicator in an aircraft. It will allow you to set the camera up perfectly level on all axis. As was mentioned, a TILT SHIFT lens is designed to overcome the problem of the camera body being tilted, (to an extent, it is not a miracle worker), but tilt shift lenses cost a small fortune and most people simply do not really need them.

  • keerok
    Lv 7
    5 months ago

    See perspective control tilt-shift lenses.

  • Frank
    Lv 7
    5 months ago

    Warping is not caused by perspective. It's caused by the optical design of the lens and how you setup the camera. Perspective IS the distortion and it's a product of the optical design of the lens. Usually when people talk about distortion of the perspective, they're talking about the distortion that is generated by wide-angle lenses. The increase in size of near objects relative to objects further away (which can mean things being mere inches away) is a result of using wide-angle lenses. This is why there are stickers on side mirrors on your car that read "Objects are closer than they appear." There's no getting around this if you use a wide-angle lens. The only option is to use a lens near the 43mm range and then making a series of shots of the scene, and then combine them into one wider shot in post.

  • qrk
    Lv 7
    5 months ago

    Trying to do this optically is really hard for me.

    When shooting paintings, it's all about setup.

    Lets assume the painting is on a perfectly vertical wall and the painting is flat against the wall (not leaning outward at the top of the painting). The floor also needs to be at a right angle to the wall.

    Find the center of the painting and measure that point to the floor.

    Set up your camera and tripod to an appropriate distance. You want to be as far from the painting as possible to minimize perspective distortion, say 10 feet. Larger paintings, like the Nightwatch, you'll need to get back further. Your optical axis needs to be at a right angle from the wall. Flooring tile seams can help you determine this.

    Level your camera using a bubble level. They make small levels for mounting on camera hot shoes, or, you can get a bulls eye level from a hardware store. The flash hot shoe is generally a good reference surface, but you need to verify this by comparing the bottom of the camera to the hot shoe. If shooting towards the floor (ala copy stand technique), I find the LCD screen is a good reference surface.

    Adjust your camera height so the optical axis lines up with the center of the painting. Recheck the leveling of your camera using the bulls eye level as many tripods will shift slightly. Since it's unlikely you'll have a tape measure, you can bring the camera close to the painting and make the height adjustment.

    For architecture, you need to keep the optical axis horizontal (use the bulls eye level). This will minimize converging lines. You also need to horizontally center your camera with the structure. For tall buildings, you can look in to tilt-shift lenses.

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  • rmm
    Lv 7
    5 months ago

    I'm not 100% sure if what you are asking is what I'm about to address, but if you are taking a picture of a framed painting on the wall then in order to not have an angled frame the camera itself will have to be as high as the vertical center of the frame. Otherwise the natural perspective is that the bottom of the frame is closer to the camera than the top of the frame, so the sides will angle in and the frame won't be parallel on both sides. Best you can do is center the camera with the horizontal frame and raise it up as much as possible to get it to the vertical center.

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