View Full Version : Level Playing Field

Captain Compassion
06-21-2009, 06:28 AM
Original Picture cropped to center yak.

Picture rotated -8 degrees with Irfan View 4.23 and re cropped.


06-21-2009, 06:54 AM
I like the rowing uphill shot better, waterfall pic......Jetspray

06-21-2009, 03:25 PM
CC - Hope your digestion's better if not from Pepto Bismol then from your response here for me ragging on your tilted horizons! ::)

Irfan View is a popular very well thought of photo viewer with, as I understand it, some editing capabilities. *I tried it years ago, but don't recall how it's rotating and cropping features work. *You mention tweaking rotation by degrees. *Do you get to visualize how it will look during the process or just pick a degree setting the see result and then go back if it wasn't quite as expected? *Like trial & error til it's OK?

I'm a horizon sensitive kinda guy especially when it's a lake view. *Comes from my old job when I was required to get my horizons right so reservoirs wouldn't drain off the paper!

This is a good time to show how rotating and cropping is done in a couple programs I'm more familiar with. *In Adobe Photoshop and as I recall in Adobe Elements you drag a box out around your pic then put the cursor outside it near a corner and then you can use the mouse to rotate the dotted line crop box til you get it how you want it. *Perimeter edges can then be readjusted within the picture area. *Double click and result will be a straightened version. *Cropping and rotation are done together.

The level line of water along a distant shore makes a great horizon reference, but in many shots you've got to look for other leveling clues like pine trees or the water line of a boat if it's crossing in front of you. *Man made objects like power poles and building also make good reference points, but hopefully few will clutter your wilderness shots. *The arrow, by the way, points to an area that will be left clear unless the top edge of the crop box is dragged down to eliminate it.

Photoshop not only lets you rotate and crop in one step but it also gives you the option of perspective correction. *This old 20" wide B&W print, mounted on hardboard, is propped against a ice chest in back of my van. *The perspective option lets you grab and move each corner of the crop box. *Double clicking then makes it rectangular. *You can see the result in the "Retro Photos?" thread. *Options like this are why Photoshop is the renown "big buck" editor. *The reason I took the copy shot at such an odd angle was to minimize glare reflecting off the print.

I've been using FastStone Viewer for a few features not in my old version of ACDSee my main viewing and sorting program. *Never tried FastStone's rotate, crop, and resize until now. *Each step is separate. *This is how it's rotate window looks. *As the slider in the middle is moved the pic rotates. *The cross hairs provide reference that help with horizontal or vertical alignment. *Once set here you go to the crop window to square it up and get rid of the white along the edges.

Only for scenic shots when I have time to compose in the camera do I pay a lot of attention to the horizon. *For action I just shoot figuring to crop and straighten later.

Captain Compassion
06-21-2009, 04:58 PM
I've been using IView for years for slide shows. Interesting enough I use the the software a lot in my business not for pictures but for it's powerful batch file renaming feature. I was pleased with the results of strightening the picture. It's the first time I ever tried it. Maybe it's time to invest in a better grade of software beyond freeware. I'm currently playing with some panaroma software. It sucks up a lot of time.


06-21-2009, 06:42 PM
CC - For multi shot panorama splicing Photoshop CS3 AMAZES me. *But, after reading about Microsoft's "Ice" I decided to try it and think it's EVEN BETTER. *If you haven't tried "ICE" you've got to ... it's FREE!


This one, five hand held shots, I just ran thru "ICE" in about 5 minutes. *It lost a lot of sharpness being compressed down by 25% but it's a good demo of how QUICK and EASY "ICE" is.

Amador from the north side looking south. *Shot 3/5/09 *It's 1874x619 pixels so you'll have to scroll to see it all or right click it to save it to your computer for viewing.

Captain Compassion
06-21-2009, 07:18 PM
Sweet!!! Down loading now. :)


06-21-2009, 11:59 PM
CC - With your excellent taste in mountain scenery I'm very much looking forward to seeing some of your panorama results. *

I decided to try ICE again using another pano series. *Took these six shots with a Panasonic TZ5 I'd just bought in January and was trying out. *The coverage angle of the pan is not quite 180 degrees, but it's as far as I could turn back and forth on my deck, again shooting hand held. *The downward bow of the road shows the distortion of the super wide angle pan. *It's straight in front of my deck with no curve.

I'm VERY impressed how well the six pics were blended. *I looked pretty close at the full sized image and could not see any seams. *My original shots were too dark so after ICE did it's magic I used Photoshop to adjust brightness and contrast, balance the color, correct for a tilted horizon and do a slight crop, then reduce it in size, and finally apply a little sharpening. *This one is 1632x500 pixels.

Captain Compassion
06-22-2009, 05:07 AM
Got it loaded. Didn't have any proper shots with enough overlap to give it a test drive. Today I'm trolling Topaz and tomorrow I'm going down 395 perhaps as far as June Lakes. I suspect that the opportunity will arise to take the proper pictures. ;)


06-22-2009, 07:05 AM
Nice! *I've got to try that. *Always looking for a new widget to try.

A little while back Adobe was giving away free copies of photoshop, but I think it was a dumb-down version (locked down until you paid a premium).

I think I got it on the thumb drive somewhere. *If I can find it I'll give y'all the info on it if you're interested...

EDIT: It's Photoshop Starter Edition, which Adobe is discontinuing support and distribution. They are replacing it with a free online service. ::)

06-22-2009, 09:35 AM
Hard to imagine them giving Photoshop away!!!

Only thing I've got free from Adobe is their gall dang reader which seems to get more difficult to use with every weekly update! I need to try to figure out how to disable my browsers wanting to always use Adobe as the default .PDF reader. I have a stand alone reader that is quick and easy except for having to download the file to view it. Oops! I'm ranting.

CC - Couple tips for shooting a pano. First don't use too wide angle lens setting unless you want to include nearby foreground in the shot. Wide angle tends to distort the combined no more than a normal angle of view or tele zoom position. Second overlap 1/3 as you pan across clicking the shots. Oh shucks! ... thought of a third and forth. A manual set shutter and lens opening will give you consistent brightness across the scene while auto exposure will make adjustments for each frame as it sees the light change. And last ... rehearse the shot to establish what you'll use for a horizon reference and what visual overlap reference points you'll use to stop for the next shot.

Captain Compassion
06-22-2009, 04:15 PM
Sweet. Thanks Yak. This stuff could be fun.!


I'll play with it some more.


Captain Compassion
06-22-2009, 05:15 PM
A couple more Panorama pics of Topaz.



06-22-2009, 05:39 PM
Wow, that is a panorama! Thanks for the great shot(s) Capt.

I have a sweet spot in my heart for Adobe. They have been providing us with excellent service for more years than I care to remember. Discarding old friends is not easy on those that respect loyalty. :-?

06-23-2009, 01:01 AM
Of the last two I like the one with the picnic area best. Your first one looks good too although the featureless clear sky got slightly mottled in the stitched areas. Sky like that would be near impossible to get perfect. My solution to that woud be to crop most of it out.

OK ... desert lakes are fine for fishing ( I guess) but what I
crave from your lens is granite, pines, silvery reflections, and puffy white clouds. Oh yeah, once you get the shot ... go fishing! ;)