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4 Simple Ways To Ensure Horizons Are Straight In Your Landscape Shots

Here's a quick guide to keeping horizons horizontal every time you hit the shutter so you won't be disappointed when you get home and view your photos on a bigger screen.

| Digital Cameras
4 Simple Ways To Ensure Horizons Are Straight In Your Landscape Shots: Beach at Cleethorpes
Wonky horizons are the bane of many landscape and cityscape photographers as a horizon that's slightly off-tilt can spoil what's otherwise a perfectly good shot. Of course, there will be times when holding your camera at an angle so the horizon line is deliberately not straight but if you do want to do this, make sure it's really obvious as otherwise, it'll just look like you forgot to check your frame before hitting the shutter button.

How To Straighten Horizons 

1. Line it up with the bottom or top of your frame
The easiest way to ensure you have horizontal horizons is to line it up with the bottom or top of your frame, either in your viewfinder or on the LCD screen. Some cameras also have a digital spirit level feature which will indicate to you when the camera is level  - both on the horizontal and vertical planes. It can be displayed in the viewfinder or on the back monitor when using Live View, along with all your other settings. When the marker is in the middle of the gauge and turns green, you know you're level.
2. Rule of thirds grid 
If you don't have a digital spirit level, have a look in your camera's menu options to see if there's a rule of thirds grid. We know this isn't designed for this purpose but the grid will have horizontal lines on it that can be a handy guide when you're looking for a quick way to check the horizon. 
4 Simple Ways To Ensure Horizons Are Straight In Your Landscape Shots: Cullmann Carvao 825MC Tripod
3. Use a spirit level
Another option is to purchase a spirit level that sits on your camera's hot shoe and to use a tripod as you're more likely to move / not hold the camera straight when you shooting hand-held. 
4. Post Production 
Of course, you can always straighten your images in whatever editing software you use as well but it's good practise to get it right in-camera whenever possible.

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jasonrwl Plus
13 1.1k 11 United Kingdom
26 Apr 2015 9:24PM
jasonrwl Plus
13 1.1k 11 United Kingdom
26 Apr 2015 9:25PM
jasonrwl Plus
13 1.1k 11 United Kingdom
26 Apr 2015 9:28PM
JackAllTog Plus
14 6.4k 58 United Kingdom
26 Apr 2019 6:25AM
Also some wider angle lenses can add barrel distortion, correct for that with software if you can.
Kirkby 15 5 United Kingdom
24 Jun 2020 3:21PM
5 If you have a recent mirrorless, compact or bridge camera, turn on the Electronic Level and line up to that.

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