Old 01-23-2015, 11:22 PM   #1
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Default Horizon un-level

I think I know why Jim Thias hasn't been posting pics Mitch. I think he has been brought on-board as a screener.

Jim,

Not sure if you are aware of this, but beyond the Forums on RP, there is another section where you can actually upload pics too!
Go to "members", "add photos", and then "File to upload".
Its that easy!

/Mitch
PS - here ya go, Jim '


http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...69&key=9596888

Should I bother or is it gonna be hit with a more serious (i.e. non-fixable)rejection?
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Old 01-23-2015, 11:34 PM   #2
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I think I know why Jim Thias hasn't been posting pics Mitch. I think he has been brought on-board as a screener.

Should I bother or is it gonna be hit with a more serious (i.e. non-fixable)rejection?
I think you're right - ONLY Jim could detect that degree of unlevel.

The nice thing about the new unlevel rejection (See: Suggestions to admin #3 in the Forums) is that they tell you which way unlevel. So, just do like Dave and I have done - rotate a little at a time and then, after 10 or 12 tries, voila! You're in!

I'd level the white stripes on the nose so they are 110% level. Perhaps Jim can chime in if there is a better method, though my monitor has a Pixel Pitch rating of only 0.2331mm so I might be able to use the method he prescribes.

/Mitch
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Old 01-24-2015, 12:02 AM   #3
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Why not just use the built-in level in the camera? Or a torpedo? Really though, in nature is anything truly level in the first place, other than ice on a lake?


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Old 01-24-2015, 12:08 AM   #4
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I'd level the white stripes on the nose so they are 110% level.
Welcome to the club, Mitch!



(oddly enough, I posted that image to another forum less than 2 minutes before reading your post, Mitch. )
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Old 01-24-2015, 12:24 AM   #5
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From the rejection message:

A level horizon, in most cases, should be ascertained by ensuring that an object which is known to be vertical, such as a structure, nearest to the center of the frame aligns with the grid lines in your photo editor.

(from rejection message)

Exactly what is known to be level in this photo? Really, not much. The only possibility I could see are some of the ice formations. Even there you have to be careful as most are tapered. There is one or two that appear to be straight sided. Water would flow straight down the non-tapering ones, most of the time. Even that can lead you astray if the wind was blowing the water laterally as it was pulled down by gravity. In nature there is very little that can define "level". Examples would be the horizon, but only on an ocean, water falling straight down unimpeded, etc. Buildings? Where I live most of the buildings along the tracks were built a hundred years ago, without firm footings. You can actually see many of them lean, they are so out of plumb. I think some of these people go WAY overboard with this "level" deal. The only way to make sure a shot like above is level is to use.........a level. (on the tripod head before taking the shot.) Don't be surprised if a shot that is leveled up using a sensitive digital level to three decimals is rejected as "unlevel." Like I said, there really are few if any visual clues as to what level is in nature. Rant over, resume your regular programming.


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Old 01-24-2015, 12:28 AM   #6
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Why not just use the built-in level in the camera? Really though, in nature is anything truly level in the first place, other than ice on a lake?

Kent in SD
Exactly what I did though it probably isn't as sensitive nor calibrated to "National Standards" like the RP screener(s) level meters.
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Old 01-24-2015, 12:52 AM   #7
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Exactly what I did though it probably isn't as sensitive nor calibrated to "National Standards" like the RP screener(s) level meters.

I checked mine when I first bought it (D800E) in the X & Y axis. It was too close to what the 24 inch bubble level I was using said was level I to tell if it was off any. Another way to check level is to hang a bright orange plumb line from your ceiling (indoors, i.e. where no air currents influence it) and check against that. I did that with one of my 4x5 cameras once and it worked well. Concrete floor under the tripod, not carpet, of course. You could check X axis in a similar way, stretching the line from wall to wall, anchor securely, check on the ends using a string level (such as masons use.) Ultimately, "level" in X axis is being perfectly perpendicular to the force of gravity.


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Old 01-24-2015, 12:53 AM   #8
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Didn't know they did reverse cant on the Pittsburgh line..

It needs CCW rotation Carl. I'm a fan at 2.5 degrees.

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Old 01-24-2015, 12:53 AM   #9
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From the rejection message:

A level horizon, in most cases, should be ascertained by ensuring that an object which is known to be vertical, such as a structure, nearest to the center of the frame aligns with the grid lines in your photo editor.

(from rejection message)

Exactly what is known to be level in this photo? Really, not much.
One can only assume that they mean the locomotive...assuming it's not on an elevated curve.
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Old 01-24-2015, 12:58 AM   #10
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One can only assume that they mean the locomotive...assuming it's not on an elevated curve.
After spending way too many hours studying track charts for various railroads, it's safe to assume that 99% of any curves of consequence have cant. It's usually 1 to 2.5 degrees on most 60mph and lower RR's.

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Old 01-24-2015, 01:12 AM   #11
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After spending way too many hours studying track charts for various railroads, it's safe to assume that 99% of any curves of consequence have cant. It's usually 1 to 2.5 degrees on most 60mph and lower RR's.

Loyd L.
Exactly. Most do, but what is it here? Without running a plumb line or an angle measure, you really can't get any closer than 1 to 2.5%. And, what if the tracks have settled? Around here they heave all the time in winter. I wouldn't go by that, and the train isn't positioned purely in the X axis to begin with.

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Old 01-24-2015, 01:29 AM   #12
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I think you're right - ONLY Jim could detect that degree of unlevel.
must be an issue of micro-degrees ...

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Exactly what I did though it probably isn't as sensitive nor calibrated to "National Standards" like the RP screener(s) level meters.
must be an issue of micro-degrees ...

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Didn't know they did reverse cant on the Pittsburgh line..

It needs CCW rotation Carl. I'm a fan at 2.5 degrees.
WHAM!

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Really though, in nature is anything truly level in the first place, other than ice on a lake?
Speaking of ice, as icicles are governed by gravity, they will drip vertically. They don't have precise linear shapes, so it's tricky, but they can serve as a guide.

We really should eliminate the use of the term "level" as the term "plumb" conveys the issue much more precisely - too many horizontal lines that aren't level to the frame when an image is plumb.
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Old 01-24-2015, 01:57 AM   #13
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must be an issue of micro-degrees ...
Like I said, Carl - 10, 11 times, you would have had it.

Maybe 6 times. Loyd, the horizon seems to now be leaning to the right, as are a bunch of trees on the right side. Good job on the icicles. though!

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Old 01-24-2015, 02:14 AM   #14
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1. Speaking of ice, as icicles are governed by gravity, they will drip vertically. They don't have precise linear shapes, so it's tricky, but they can serve as a guide.

2. We really should eliminate the use of the term "level" as the term "plumb" conveys the issue much more precisely - too many horizontal lines that aren't level to the frame when an image is plumb.

1. I originally bought a 4x5 to photo abandoned buildings, and ice formations/frozen waterfalls. It's true that the icicles form vertically, mostly. Where I live that's not always reliable though. If they formed in calm conditions or out of the wind, you're home free. I've seen icicles exposed to the wind that twist in several directions, as the wind changed. With the "reliable" icicles, I would line up a grid line on my ground glass (4x5) with the center line of an icicle, to avoid error caused by any taper on the side. Icicles are actually conical after all.

2. You got me thinking, and that's what I like about forums. I think "level" has to do with the X axis, and "plumb" has to do with Y axis. I think you are on to something though when you suggest when people say "level," they might really be meaning "plumb." As I said, there's very little in nature that is level, but a man made object like a dash nine will be plumb. Since a photo is 2D, and level & plumb are locked together, maybe I'm thinking too hard here. I'm heading back out west tomorrow night to chase some more trains, but I think when I'm home on Sunday I just might hang a plumb line from my basement ceiling, and then stretch one horizontally, and see just how accurate that digital level in my D800E is! Hopefully I'm not "suprised." I don't want to have to go back to using the torpedo.

And another thought on above photo. The large icicles seem to be out of the wind, and the centerlines of them should be fairly plumb. However, with many wide angle lenses you do start to get some barrel distortion on the edge of the frame. Trees don't always grow straight up--depends on prevailing wind (if any) and they tend to grow towards the average direction of the sun. I have found that individual corn stalks in a tight field tend to grow pretty straight up though.


Kent in SD

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Old 01-24-2015, 03:45 AM   #15
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Loyd, the horizon seems to now be leaning to the right, as are a bunch of trees on the right side.

/Mitch

There's only two trees in the bunch with enough pixel detail along their trunks to tell, and they are straight. The rest of the jumble is just that. Horizons are poor indicators, unless you're watching a magnificent sunrise or sunset along a shoreline / coastline.. Those pretty icicles are on, and the train won't fly out of the curve now. Life is good in PA..

Loyd L.
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Old 01-24-2015, 03:53 AM   #16
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Exactly. Most do, but what is it here? Without running a plumb line or an angle measure, you really can't get any closer than 1 to 2.5%. And, what if the tracks have settled? Around here they heave all the time in winter. I wouldn't go by that, and the train isn't positioned purely in the X axis to begin with.

Kent in SD
There is always enough evidence in every scene to determine whether or not the composition needs rotated / manipulated / corrected in some fashion. Jim and I have been given this gift... or curse in being able to judge it quickly, and correctly. Sadly for him, he doesn't share in my loathe for uncorrected wide angle distortion..

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Old 01-24-2015, 03:59 PM   #17
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There is always enough evidence in every scene to determine whether or not the composition needs rotated / manipulated / corrected in some fashion. Jim and I have been given this gift... or curse in being able to judge it quickly, and correctly. Sadly for him, he doesn't share in my loathe for uncorrected wide angle distortion..

Since I started out as a large format shooter, my strategy has always been to use a tripod and a level to begin with. My 4x5 cameras always had levels built into them. My first Nikon DSLR bodies did not, so I carried a torpedo in my back pocket. (A pain in the ass.) Fortunately my last two Nikons (D7100, D800E) have built in electronic levels. So with that, I'm back to where I started 18 years ago!


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Old 01-24-2015, 04:03 PM   #18
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Jim and I have been given this gift... or curse in being able to judge it quickly, and correctly. Sadly for him, he doesn't share in my loathe for uncorrected wide angle distortion..
Well, I just haven't been as vocal about it lately. To tell you the truth, Doyle's bridge shot had me going fetal in the corner of my room.


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Since I started out as a large format shooter, my strategy has always been to use a tripod and a level to begin with. My 4x5 cameras always had levels built into them. My first Nikon DSLR bodies did not, so I carried a torpedo in my back pocket. (A pain in the ass.) Fortunately my last two Nikons (D7100, D800E) have built in electronic levels. So with that, I'm back to where I started 18 years ago!
If there is a true vertical and/or horizontal in the scene, a camera level is unnecessary. Just fix it in post.
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Old 01-24-2015, 10:58 PM   #19
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My 60D has a built-in level but if you read the fine print, it's only accurate to plus or minus 1 degree. That's pretty bad! I can typically get within a half degree every time while hand shooting...
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Old 01-25-2015, 12:56 AM   #20
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Like I said, Carl - 10, 11 times, you would have had it.

Maybe 6 times. Loyd, the horizon seems to now be leaning to the right, as are a bunch of trees on the right side. Good job on the icicles. though!

/Mitch
I gave it .7 of rotation CCW and that was it.

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Went back to the same place today and everything was snow covered including the branches. Absolutely gorgeous. I waited 25 minutes for a choo-choo but no luck. I took a picture so I am gonna try to learn more PSE and try put this train into that photo. When I submit it I am gonna make it so un-level that maybe the screener won't realize the train looks familiar.
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Old 01-25-2015, 06:18 AM   #21
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Since I started out as a large format shooter, my strategy has always been to use a tripod and a level to begin with. My 4x5 cameras always had levels built into them. My first Nikon DSLR bodies did not, so I carried a torpedo in my back pocket. (A pain in the ass.) Fortunately my last two Nikons (D7100, D800E) have built in electronic levels. So with that, I'm back to where I started 18 years ago!


Kent in SD
I have a D3s and a D800e and I find the shot level is significantly more accurate than the built in levels. So that is what I use.
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Old 01-25-2015, 03:53 PM   #22
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I gave it .7 of rotation CCW and that was it.
NOW IT LOOKS UNLEVEL TO ME!!!

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Old 01-26-2015, 11:07 PM   #23
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And finally, this from a member of the Nikon pantheon:

"Myth 6 — Horizons Should be Horizontal

Much of the time, your horizons probably should be horizontal. After all, we generally view the world by standing perpendicular to the surface, which means our normal view expects a perfectly flat line across the frame. But there's a downside to slavishly practicing flatland rules: horizontal lines build "gravity" into your compositions. Our eyes don't easily flow across horizons, which tend to anchor one portion of an image and remove all sense of motion from it.

But motion is good. Used well, it adds a dynamic to your image that conventional pictures taken at the same place just won't have. So much so, that I'll spend time looking for ways I can effect a diagonal horizon line naturally, without being too obvious about it (for an example, look at the two pictures on the Cordillera Blanca page)."

http://www.dslrbodies.com/essays/the...phy-myths.html


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Old 01-26-2015, 11:20 PM   #24
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Kent, we discuss "RP photography" here, not photography.

PS: too bad the two pictures on the Cordillera Blanca page are apparently no longer there; only one now and no evidence of a diagonal horizon.
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Old 01-27-2015, 12:20 AM   #25
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And finally, this from a member of the Nikon pantheon:

"Myth 6 — Horizons Should be Horizontal

Much of the time, your horizons probably should be horizontal. After all, we generally view the world by standing perpendicular to the surface, which means our normal view expects a perfectly flat line across the frame. But there's a downside to slavishly practicing flatland rules: horizontal lines build "gravity" into your compositions. Our eyes don't easily flow across horizons, which tend to anchor one portion of an image and remove all sense of motion from it.
Uhh, yeah, mine do.

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But motion is good. Used well, it adds a dynamic to your image that conventional pictures taken at the same place just won't have. So much so, that I'll spend time looking for ways I can effect a diagonal horizon line naturally, without being too obvious about it ."
Blah blah blah. Poppycock. The only people who shoot unlevel horizons intentionally are those trying to be hipsters.
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