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How to Overcome the Problem of Converging Verticals

Converging Verticals

When taking photos of structures one of the challenges that confronts professional photographers is that of Converging Verticals?

Converging Verticals is a term utilized to describe the impact in images when 2 parallel lines in an image (such as the two sides of a building) appear to get closer (converge)- as if they are leaning in towards one another at the top (as in the picture to the left which is of the Rialto towers in Melbourne- towers that do not get narrower towards the top up until the last few floorings).

The result is most obvious when you angle your camera up when taking a picture of a high structure in an effort to fit all of it in. It’s particularly obvious when utilizing a wide angle lens.

What should a photographer do about converging verticals?

Professional photographers have a number of alternatives available to them.

Improve it – as with all types of distortions in photography- one alternative is to improve it and utilize the Converging Verticals to attain a more remarkable image. You can enhance the assembling lines, however, getting closer to the structure, angling your video camera even more and by using wider angle lenses.

Reduce it – if you desire to avoid the converging verticals in electronic camera you will most likely need to move further back from the structure that you’re photographing. This will mean you will probably get more of the foreground in your end image- but you can always crop this later on. Another method to get more parallel to the building is to take the shot from higher up.

Correct it – if you are not able to alter the point of view that you are shooting from and just end up with assembling lines in your shots another option is to do some post production editing. Most image modifying software will have some way of doing this. For example, in Photoshop Elements there’s a ‘Transform- Viewpoint’ option in the ‘Image’ menu. This is how the image to the right had its converging verticals corrected.

Modification Lenses – finally, if you have a budget plan and will be taking a great deal of architectural images you may like to invest in a unique lens that has the capability to correct converging verticals. These Viewpoint Control/Tilt Shift lenses are able to move the lens axis (or optical centre) to make up for the distortion. Such lenses are not inexpensive – so unless you’re going to be getting seriously into the photography of buildings you may wish to utilize one of the other choices mentioned above to repair the problem of converging verticals.


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