I always remember my Mother telling me to “sit up straight and tall.” When I look through the viewfinder I check to see whether or not my vertical and horizontal lines are straight.
When you take pictures of seascapes, landscapes, or city scenes, think about ways to get the horizon line straight. Unless I am trying to take an artsy angled shot, I determine the best way to capture the image so that I don’t want to quietly scream, “The picture’s crooked!” every time I look at it.
Here’s an example of a horizon line that’s tilted.
It helps to stand straight and hold the camera level. I have a grid that I can use in the viewfinder on my camera to help me line things up. You may have one as well…just look in your menu options or manual.
If you have photo editing software you can use it to straighten and crop your images after you take them…but attempt to get it right when you press the shutter.
Another tip on horizon lines is to keep them above or below the middle of your picture. Locating it in the upper third or lower third makes for a more pleasing composition.
When I took a course with Peter Evans in France, (www.painting-photography-france.com,) he taught me to keep at least one line of a door, wall, house, tree, and so on, straight. This made quite a bit of difference in how well my vertical images turned out.
Sometimes, no matter how hard I try, I simply can’t seem to find a straight vertical so I take shots like this but never actually do anything with them.
There are some images that beg to be taken at an angle.
I like the artistic effect of this green Italian letter box.
Take a look at this red post box. Assuming you like it, what would you do to improve it?