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Image Doctor Starting AuHi Michael,

One of the feature I love about the New South Wales coastline are the sea baths; they make a fascinating subject and I know several photographers who have shot literally thousands of images at various pools over the years.

I like your approach on this image. Getting close to the handrails is a powerful way of inviting us into this water. 

The only thing that is upsetting me a little is the geometry of the image. Because you are very close to the handrails, and you are tilting the camera downwards, you have created a problem of converging parallels.  All the vertical posts and rails in the image that we should expect to see being perfectly vertical in the image are actually pointing inwards. Had we been looking at the same scene directly with our eyes we would see that the poles were all vertical. 

There are a couple of ways that you can fix this problem. The expensive way is to buy the Canon 17mm TS-E Tilt Shift Lens (it only costs $2,829!!!). All you need to do with this lens is compose the photograph with the camera perfectly aligned to the horizon and then all you have to do is “shift” the lens down slightly to move the horizon up the image. The verticals will remain vertical.

I am going to guess that $2829 is too much to spend getting one photo though (my wife would think so) so I am going to suggest a second option. In an instance like this I would probably move back just the slightest amount so I have included the rails with room to spare. Then what I would do is having opened the image in Adobe Camera RAW I would go to the Lens Corrections panel and select Manual options to adjust the geometry. Another useful tool called Adaptive Wide Angle can be found in Photoshop and it is very good at straightening horizons and aligning verticals in a photograph.

The next time you have a look at some architectural images, check the verticals and you will probably notice they are vertical. It makes for a better photograph simply because the image is what we expect to see if we were there. 

I hope this all makes sense! Enjoy that location!!

Cheers, Anthony

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