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  1. #11

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    I think that the only time that lens coverage is overrated is when the image circle exceeds the cameras movements.

  2. #12
    Sparky's Avatar
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    My primary concern is simply when people use it indiscriminately. As an architectural photographer and an architect, I would personally rather point the camera up a bit - or find a mid-level POV or back way, way off. I think it completely changes your experience of the building and is simply one of those 'conventions' we've gotten stuck with. I think a lot of people are very stuck on parallel verticals - and think that just because they've got the ability to 'conrol perspective' - that they should. Sorry - just a sticky point for me - call me a snob if you want.

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky
    My primary concern is simply when people use it indiscriminately. As an architectural photographer and an architect, I would personally rather point the camera up a bit - or find a mid-level POV or back way, way off. I think it completely changes your experience of the building and is simply one of those 'conventions' we've gotten stuck with. I think a lot of people are very stuck on parallel verticals - and think that just because they've got the ability to 'conrol perspective' - that they should. Sorry - just a sticky point for me - call me a snob if you want.
    Call me fololish, but I thought the main purpose of an architectural photographer was to show the client's building in the best light (in all the meanings of the word). I dont think a client would be too thrilled if you gave him a shot showing keystoning or where the building is a tiny portion of the shot. I know many architectural photographers, some of them very successful, and the one thing they all want in their lenses is more coverage, heck they dont mind paying $2000 or $3000 per lens, or having it weight 10 pounds if it allows them to get in close and show the structure. Bottom line, do you design buildings that look like they are falling back?

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky
    My primary concern is simply when people use it indiscriminately. As an architectural photographer and an architect, I would personally rather point the camera up a bit - or find a mid-level POV or back way, way off. I think it completely changes your experience of the building and is simply one of those 'conventions' we've gotten stuck with. I think a lot of people are very stuck on parallel verticals - and think that just because they've got the ability to 'conrol perspective' - that they should. Sorry - just a sticky point for me - call me a snob if you want.

    My suggestion is to go get yourself a 35 mm or med format camera. If you can find anyone, with any degree of knowledge, that wants the keystoning that pointing the camera upward produces then you will have located a very "snobbish" clientelle. That sounds like a marriage made in heaven to me.

  5. #15
    Andy K's Avatar
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    OT: Just wanted to say I really enjoyed looking at the attachments in this topic. Anyone got a bw shot of the Brooklyn Bridge they need to use as an example?


    -----------My Flickr-----------
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  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky
    I think a lot of people are very stuck on parallel verticals - and think that just because they've got the ability to 'conrol perspective' - that they should.
    We LF photographers do not generally avoid converging verticals when photographing buildings just because we have the technology that makes it possible to do so (i.e., the view camera) -- we avoid converging verticals to follow the perspective convention that has prevailed in Western Art for more than 500 years.

    If you go to a major art museum, I am sure that you will be able to find a painting of a building (from before the invention of photography) that you would not be able to duplicate as a photograph without either: 1) using a view camera and front rise, 2) leveling a regular camera and drastically cropping the photograph, 3) tilting the camera and correcting the perspective in photoshop.

    The decision to show parallel or converging verticals ranges from an artistic one to meeting the expectations of your clients and the viewers of your photographers. If you think a photo looks better with the camera back tilted, then tilt the camera back. I find the excess coverage of some of my LF lenses to be very useful for the photos that I want to make.

  7. #17
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    Jorge.

    Sometimes this "keystoning" can show the original design intent better than a pat convention applied without thought. I mean - think about it... do we ever talk about applying the same sort of fascism to the horizontal axis that we do to the vertical? What if it was very unfashionable to shoot down the length of a building...? And that all shots had to be taken straight on - or else slightly off axis with horizontal shift applied? What then? I guess we'd be having the same discussion with the same back and forth and same arguments.

  8. #18
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    For a very tall structure, or when it's impossible to get a reasonable distance, many photographers do find it acceptable and even desirable to have a little keystoning, if the main goal is to convey a sense of height. I don't think it is that controversial.

    I also don't think it's that controversial to try to use the longest lens possible for the most natural perspective, but it just isn't possible in many cases.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
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  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky
    Sometimes this "keystoning" can show the original design intent better than a pat convention applied without thought.
    Sorry, I have yet to see a good archetectural picture where keystoning shows a better design intent, perhaps you can post some......

  10. #20
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    Okay - let me just put it this way. We all know that extreme rises tend to make buildings look a bit TOP-heavy, right? What if that's not what the architect had intended? Sorry Jorge, I am not talking about artsy architectural photos here. I am talking about serving a client. It would be impossible to verify if an image serves their purpose well unless you speak to the architect in question and know what their intention was. If we have a large number of framed elements near the top of the building... the angle subtended in conveying these elements to the film is going to ensure that they look thicker than they ought to - and therefore betraying the designer's intent.

    At any rate, Jorge, here are two photographs by myself, for different clients, which have been remarked on in this regard. The first one is an office interior. The general complaint was that the soffit overhead looks much deeper than it actually is. This is really not the sense you have when you are in the space. This was, of course, compounded by the low angle chosen by myself. It was a compromise situation - as they all tend to be. The second photo is another interior (of a restaurant) and the specific remark made was that the truss going diagonally through the picture on the upper left made the structure of the building look irregular - though it was crossing the space perfectly perpendicularly. They also remarked that the screened enclosure looked 'out of proportion' from what they were expecting. It does certainly look different from further away. Specifically, the 'struts' passing beyond the top of the plexiglas screen looked too long. Their height was exaggerated by the angle of view. In both cases, I was constrained by the surroundings and it was really the only spot possible to take the shot in. However - the point I am attempting to illustrate is that there are times when lens rise DOES cause some aesthetic problems.
    Last edited by Sparky; 03-31-2007 at 03:51 AM. Click to view previous post history.

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