It was freezing when I took this picture. Maybe that’s why I didn’t do it right in camera. That’s my excuse anyhow. See I was shooting wide – 10mm wide – on my D7000 and saw this statue at the entrance to Central Park. I had this idea of pushing in close and capturing the monument in all of its glory. The sun was peaking through the trees throwing this gorgeous golden light on the stone. Perfect moment for the perfect shot.
Sadly the difference between perfect moments and perfect shots is often vast. When you are shooting that wide you better make sure that you line the shot up correctly. The distortion is going to be a nightmare if you don’t.
I was a little off. I didn’t have my little hot-shoe level on my camera and relied on the cameras artificial horizon to tell me if I was straight. I wasn’t. I was tilted back a bit. Also I wasn’t directly centered on the statue. I wanted it to be center-line straight on and I was off a few degrees. Not “bad” but not what I wanted.
Did I mention how cold it was?
I snapped off a series of brackets and didn’t notice that I was skewed (screwed?) until later. When I imported them into Lightroom I noticed immediately that they were off. So much for getting it right in the camera.
So what I could have done by spending an extra five minutes in the field took almost an hour in post-processing. I’m sure some of you could have done it faster, but I’m not that guy. Whenever I have to use the perspective correction tools, I get dizzy. A little more to the left, a little further back..no no forward. no a smidge to the right…wait is it level?….Ugh. I hate it. It’s a nightmare. Then when I finally did get it basically straight and fixed the perspective I noticed the BIG problem – the foreground base was warped.
Like Salvador Dali warped.
It looked like one of those melting clocks.Not good at all.
Luckily a fix for that came to me pretty quick. I opened the file up in CS5 and use the puppet transform to squish the base more or less correct. I couldn’t get it “perfect” but until I pointed it out, how many of you noticed it? I’m betting not many. All I can say is thank goodness for Photoshop.
I still like the picture. I wish I had done it correctly in the field but the end result is pretty close to what I had in mind. I guess in the end that is what matters most.