Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Hello everyone, welcome back. It’s getting harder and harder to come up with little quips to put at the beginning of my Picture of the Day entries. I’ll probably just start recycling them. People like my wife who remember every story I’ve ever even thought about telling will probably notice, except that people like my wife don’t actually read this crap anyway, they just look at the pictures. So everybody wins!
This is the Grand Canal in Venice. I’ll be honest, it’s not really one of my favorite pictures. But, it’s apparently one of the most viewed images on http://davefry.net/rate . I’ve started putting in little links that say “Read more about this picture” on the pictures that I’ve posted on Picture of the Day, so this is really just a lame attempt at getting some of those folks to head over this way. Don’t you all just feel used?
This picture is good for something though. It’s great for illustrating one of my huge pet peeves, that I’ve already mentioned at least a couple times in the past. When you have things like buildings in your picture (or trees, but buildings are worse), it’s painfully obvious (to my eye, anyway) when it’s not perfectly straight. And, I’m notorious for being a bit lazy and taking pictures that are cockeyed by a couple degrees. So taking pictures of things like buildings (or views where you can see the horizon) is a very frustrating activity for me. On top of that, most lenses introduce a little bit of barrel distortion, meaning they bend things around a little bit, especially near the edges. (Try getting a picture to look level when stuff in the middle is straight up and down, but stuff on the left side is leaning to the right, and stuff on the right side is leaning to the left. Arrrghhh!!) Then, just to put the icing on the cake, in some cases the buildings themselves aren’t even consistently straight! (And, depending on your perspective, having the lines be perfectly vertical or horizontal isn’t always “right”). I swear that was the case here, but that could just be me making excuses.
Regardless, these pictures of Venice drove me bonkers. Taking a picture straight is of course the most preferable option, but even when using software to straighten it out later (which sucks because it degrades the image – although I’m not going to go into why here) is really frustrating. Take a look at this image. The stuff near the middle looks pretty true. But that building on the far right is most definitely leaning toward the edge of the frame. And, as expected, the stuff on the far left is also off-kilter, although this time leaning toward the left. That’s actually kind of weird, it’s the opposite from what I’d usually expect (barrel distortion usually bends things as if it’s trying to turn them into a giant donut), but it’s still annoying. Sigh.
Whatever, enjoy your picture, and hopefully I can convince a few of those folks looking at the picture on davefry.net to check out this entry. Have a great rest of your day.
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel XT, Tamron 28-300 mm lens. 1/250s, f/7.1, ISO 100. Focal length: 28mm.