4047 – Saint Michael I

In a recent comment Wolfgang Lonien said

What always amazes me is your mindfulness of the corners, and also the straight lines you produce. Are these all handheld shots? To me sometimes they look like taken from a tripod, and with a large format camera (Scheimpflug principle, or what they now call with ‘keystone correction’).

Thanks, Wolfgang! Fact is, I haven’t used a tripod in years. Well, that’s a lie, I used them for creating product photos when selling a lens or a camera, but I didn’t use them “out in the wild”.

Yes, all images of the last years and in any case the overwhelming majority of my older photos were taken handheld. Actually you can’t use a tripod in so many places, that I don’t bother to lug one around at all. Nor do I need one. I only take images of things and places. They don’t move, they all keep perfectly still, while the stabilization of my camera does its thing.

As to corners and lines, it’s a fetish of mine, and, no, I can’t hold a camera with an ultra-wide lens perfectly still, while composing the lines into the corners, all the while being bent backwards, trying to shoot perfectly straight up into a cupola, keeping the camera exactly below the center.

No. I cheat in post. For me an image is raw material for post-processing.

  • When I find a distraction that I abhorr, then I clone it out. Does not happen all the time, but it happens.
  • When an image needs keystone correction, then I apply it in post. Happens all the time.
  • When I have left space around, I crop. I may even crop a 4:3 image to a square, or I may crop out part of an image where I like how the lines fit, and I may also rotate the cropped part by a mostly small angle.

Normally those things suffice. In a few cases, instead of cropping and rotating in Lightroom, I take the image into Photoshop and use “Edit / Transform / Skew”, which allows me to basically drag a certain line into a corner. That’s extremely easy and comes handy when only one corner needs to be fixed by a small amount.