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Weir on the Wear

By Bore07TM
Non- Long Exposure version on Weir on the Wear

I have struggled to get the towers of Durham Cathedral vertical, along with the Old Fulling Mill.

Had to extend railing at bottom as tried to use perspective to straighten Durham Cathedral towers.

I have also uploaded a cropped version (without person)

Tags: River wear Durham cathedral Landscape and travel Durham city Old Fulling Mill

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pamelajean Plus
15 1.5k 2201 United Kingdom
12 Apr 2020 3:49PM
The verticals don't have to be perfect, Anthony, and in fact look more natural when they are not. I think you have straightened enough, and your image looks fine. I prefer the version without the girl and fence. The girl is incomplete and not only does she draw the eye away from the buildings, but also leaves the viewer with a feeling that he wants to see more of her. The crop solves that and looks a lot better.

It's a common problem in photography for buildings to shrink at the top. It is often difficult to get all the lines perfectly straight when taking a shot of a building looking up. The mill won't have suffered as much as the cathedral because the mill is practically in front of you.


Bore07TM Plus
4 68 1 United Kingdom
12 Apr 2020 4:08PM

Many Thanks for your critique.

I feel a lot more confident now that I'm probably doing the right thing.

I know that there is a certain amount of lens distortion associated with photography of buildings, and the trick is to mimimize that distortion.

I have heard judges state that the best idea is to get far enough away to allow the building to look as natural and possible and the crop the image down after that. Would you concur with that advice?

Where that is not possible other members of the critic team have suggested that stitching "vertical slices" together (a with panorama images) would be good approach,

Thank you again for taking the time to critique my images.

Tony M
chase Plus
15 2.1k 541 England
12 Apr 2020 4:18PM
Tony, I really don't think you are doing anything wrong, for one thing you are looking up at the Cathedral which would distort it a little, even to the eye, it's not straight infront of you.
If you were being really picky the transform tool in Photoshop would help.
It's ok getting further away from your subject but is that really the way, should we not be framing the subject as we want it in the first place,? cropping can be helpful but not always and it will affect your metering and the light/shadow in your image.

BTW, I do like your image, especially V1 without the person...see, gentle cropping can help.
Bore07TM Plus
4 68 1 United Kingdom
12 Apr 2020 4:29PM

Many Thanks for your comments.

Just to clarify, I use Transform in Lightroom 6.14, and when I have a more complicated situation (as with the Weir on the Wear image), my preference is to use The Persective Tool in Affinity Photo.
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.7k 2376 United Kingdom
12 Apr 2020 4:40PM
When a photo is obviously taken from a low pov, perfectly vertical lines will make the building look top-heavy. It's just not natural to the eye.

A good shot of a view that I know well. I think the foreground could work well if there was more of the path, with maybe a row of people looking across the river. But that would be a different picture. As it is, better cropped.
banehawi Plus
16 2.4k 4217 Canada
12 Apr 2020 6:25PM
There are specialised lenses for architecture, tilt/shift lenses and Canon and Nikon make them. None available for this camera system as far as I know.

In Photoshop, theres also a specialised tool in the subscription version for adaptive wide angle correction which I applied to this, and I think its reasonably straight in both the Cathedral and the Mill when I apply a grid overlay after adjustments. The Affinity photo one, - I have Affinity but rarely use it.

See what you think


Bore07TM Plus
4 68 1 United Kingdom
12 Apr 2020 6:43PM

Many Thanks for the mod and the pointers.

The Front Towers of the and Mill look upright to me (better than mine!).

With regards to tilt/shift lenses, I understand that there is a Metabones adapter that can be used with a Micro Four Thirds body (

I wasn't aware of the specialised tool in Photoshop. I'm not surprised that you have a preference for Photoshop

I guess at the end of the day I need to weigh up the cost of a tilt shift lens (and adapter) v Photoshop subscription.


Tony M
pamelajean Plus
15 1.5k 2201 United Kingdom
12 Apr 2020 6:52PM

Quote:I have heard judges state that the best idea is to get far enough away to allow the building to look as natural and possible and the crop the image down after that. Would you concur with that advice?

Thank you for your feedback, Anthony, and I hope that other critiquers have further boosted your confidence.

Of course, it would be ideal to get it right at the time of shooting, but that isn't always possible.
You’ll find unless you’re perfectly straight on and at a height that is even with the middle of the building that your vertical lines will taper towards the top.
Some say to move to a higher position or to step back to a more suitable viewpoint, to reduce the distortion.

HERE is an article about converging verticals. HERE is another.

dudler Plus
17 1.5k 1811 England
12 Apr 2020 10:32PM
I'll deal with a couple of issues...

I think that buying a T/S lens for MFT cameras is gilding the lily. If you want the sort of perfection that these lenses can give (at a massive price in money and convenience - they take real care and method to use), you should probably be thinking of upgrading to full frame. So it may be worth further discussion - or just learning to use Persepctive/Skew tools in software to the full.
Bore07TM Plus
4 68 1 United Kingdom
13 Apr 2020 9:56AM

Many Thanks for the extra info regarding T/S lenses, as I am unlikely to be thinking about upgrading to Full Frame, I had worked out that I need to learn how to use the Persepctive/Skew tools in software to the full or, upgrade the software I currently use for processing images.

dark_lord Plus
16 2.8k 750 England
13 Apr 2020 12:46PM
You don't need full frame to use the tilt and shift lenses though that's where you can get the most from them.
I have full frame cameras and don't feel the need for such lenses, mostly because they'd get limited use. If I were to use them extensively or for a living on a regular basis then I would go for one.
Meanwhile, software correction is perfectly good enough. As I find the tool in Affinity is fine.

It looks like you've done just fine with your lead image. All I'd do is lighten and wrm it as it's dark and cool in tone.
Looking carefully the cathedral tower does get narrower as it ascends, each 'storey' taking a step inwards. I'm sure tere's a spcialist architectural term. But the result is that even a perfectly upright tower could appear to lean.
I watched a Capture One webinar a number of years ago and the reccommendation was that convergening verticals need only be corrected 95%, as 100% correction didn't look natural evenif it were 'technically' correct.
mattw 17 5.2k 10 United Kingdom
16 Apr 2020 5:14PM
I commend you for thinking about the converging vertical problem, however a small amount of lean is not to much of a problem. I do find that in this composition, the towers of the cathedral are a little too close to the edge of the frame for me. You only need a bit more space above the building, but this will help to balance the composition a bit more.
If you need to lean the camera back to much for this, then there are options in post processing to correct the lean.
At the bottom, crop out everything below the weir. The weir itself is a rather nice 'lead in' line for the comp, but it needs to run from the edge of the frame for full effect.
Apart from this, its a lovely shot. A little warmer light (particularly earlier/later in the day depending on location) on the trees and building would be nice, but overall you have done well.

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