Those of you who have been reading this week know that I went on a photo safari in Washington DC last weekend. We met early in the morning (hence the lack of crowds on the Jefferson Memorial below) to take pictures of the cherry blossoms and monuments around the Tidal Basin.
During the safari, the photographer leading the group used the Jefferson Memorial to illustrate a little tip for taking pictures of buildings. I thought I’d pass it along to you. Can you see in the photo below how the steps at the bottom and the pillar on the right side of the frame are not parallel to the sides of the photo? (just FYI–this is not an extreme example of this effect. Finding pictures to illustrate my points is hard!) In photography, this is known as keystoning. Have you ever taken a picture of a building and found that it looked distorted, or like the outer walls were converging?
Here are a few ways to avoid having distorted buildings:
~Back up–as far as you can (go across the street if you need to–in this case, I chose NOT to back up any more. I would have ended up in the water!)
~Use a wide angle (zoom OUT, not in! I did not have a wide angle lens with me n the safari)
~Hold your camera parallel to the ground (how often do we tilt our cameras UP to catch the top of buildings?)
Try it out next time you’re photographing a building. Happy shooting!
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