correcting verticals etc. on 5x4 : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I need to take a photograph on 5"x4" format of the inside of a room. I need to take it so that all the verticals/horizontals etc. are correct.

The room is actually an office so it isn't too big or too small.

Please can you guide me as to what the tilts etc. should be set I only need to use the 'rise/fall' rather than tilt to correct this?

I would assume that I would start at everything normal setting and then use the rise at the front? maybe i'm wrong.....pointers asap please!!

-- kam assi (, March 27, 2001


Just keep the back straight and the geometry will be right. Use rise/fall as necessary to frame the image.

-- Garry Edwards (, March 27, 2001.

Kam: Garry has the key to keeping everything straight...keep the back verticle. Use a level if needed. You can also use back swing to keep things in correct perspective. With the back set up correctly, use front rise and shift for framing. You will be able to see what is happening on the ground glass.


-- Doug Paramore (, March 27, 2001.


As the others have said, you will want to keep the back vertical. This will avoid converging vertical lines which we perceive to be wrong. However, we don't always perceive converging horizontal lines to be incorrect. Horizontal convergence can be used to give an illusion of depth. Good camera placement within a room as well as proper control of rear swing in addition to front and rear lateral shift movements can be used to give the viewer an appropriate feeling of three-dimensionality. One of the advantages of the larger formats is that, as has already been mentioned, it is rather easy to see what is happening right there on the ground glass.

As a general rule of thumb, the rear swings and tilts should be used to control image distortion (either create it or correct for it) while the front swings and tilts are used to control the plane of focus and depth of field. Of course, as is the case with almost all rules of thumb, this approach isn't etched in stone. As a matter of fact, a rear swing movement that corrects for horizontal distortion can, in some situations, simultaneously improve depth of field. One of the real beauties of working with the view camera is, again, the ability to see all of this happening right before your very eyes on the groung glass. Both front and rear rise and fall movements can be used for proper framing.

Before you work on the photograph of the office, I would suggest that you spend a little time playing with the camera, using all of the movements to see what effect each one has on the image. A little practice can help a lot. And, on top of that, its quite a bit of fun!

-- Ken Burns (, March 27, 2001.

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