Thursday, April 08, 2010


Hartford, Connecticut


Admin said...

Carl, I really like this parking lot "reflecting pool", created, I assume, by your recent bad weather. Gives the church a touch of the Taj Mahal look.

I know that you shot this with a small format camera and I see (I think) why you were standing a bit to one side, but I can't help but be bugged by the perspective distortion. I like to shoot buildings and I have this problem all the time. I wish there were an answer for this that didn't involve view cameras.

Carl Weese said...

Edd, the reflecting pool is actually the top of my pickup truck's cab. In fact, the use of the reflection was exactly to play with the rendering of the building.

Paradoxically, that rendering is "accurate"--the lens used has excellent rectilinear correction. "Architectural perspective"--rendering a building with parallel sides even though we are looking up at it--is a convention, a distortion of reality to make a picture look like what we know instead of what we actually see. I love to play with this paradox and the weird things that happen when you utilize the ability of a lens with really wide coverage to use a view camera's adjustments to conform to this visual convention.

In this case I didn't have those tools handy, so made a completely different type of picture.

BTW, there are ways to do this on a dslr. One of course is to shoot with the camera absolutely plumb and level, though of course that's pretty restrictive. Another is with a shift lens. These are expensive, but the visual effect is exactly the same as you get with a rise/fall/shift of a view camera's front standard. The other is software "correction" which is available in many programs including Photoshop. The problem here is that the heavy recalculation involved reduces image quality (a bit like a substantial up-interpolation for size) and the result does not look exactly the same as the result of physically shifting the lens.

Admin said...

Thanks for the explanation. The top of your pick-up!! That's great.

I actually stand in the bed of my pick-up often in an attempt to gain some height relative to the perspective issue (the plumb and level thing). And I do use the tools in Photoshop--sometimes they work pretty well and sometimes not.

And speaking of trucks--wouldn't it be neat to have a bucket truck? That would open up all kinds of photo opportunities.

Carl Weese said...

Edd, in the course of commercial assignments I've actually had the opportunity to work from bucket trucks on several occasions. It's a blast! I've also ridden ceiling cranes in factories to get high viewpoints, which is pretty cool as well.

Carl Weese said...

Oh also, my truck has a high cap over the bed. If I drop the tailgate and jump up on it, then lean my elbows on top of the cap, I have a tall and very steady shooting platform for a hand camera in no time flat.

Don and Sher said...

Well you had me on this one, I thought after all the rain that this was a reflection in a puddle. Very nice.