Do You Fix Sloping Horizons?

November 01, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

The Geita River, Iceland. Alpa TC, Phase One IQ180, 23mm Digaron lens.

We found this location literally by the side of the road. It's not very big - maybe three metres from one side of the cutting to the other, reducing to as little as one metre up the top where you could almost jump to the other side.

The glacial water is running forcefully through an old lava field and it's a most remarkable landscape, but then again, you only have to drive for five minutes to find remarkable landscapes in Iceland! The challenge in this photograph was in making the horizon look level when the lava field itself is sloping downwards. See the next photo:

The Geita River, Iceland. Alpa TC, Phase One IQ180, 23mm Digaron lens.

There's not much difference between the two photographs and maybe the difference isn't important to you at all! However, in the second photo (bottom) with the lighter background, I found the darker lava field indicated that the horizon was not level. When you look more closely, it definitely is level as shown by the landscape behind the lava field (the orange grasses leading up to the mountains in the background). 

However, our viewers are not as analytical as we are. They (I believe) would just look at the photo and think, 'Interesting river, wonder why the horizon isn't level', and probably move on! They might not spend the time to resolve the technical issues. And fair enough because that's our job.

In the top image, I have darkened down the background mountain range so the horizontal line between it and the orange grasses is stronger. It's a small, subtle change, one that I think is important.

There is a big difference in tonality between the foreground (in shade) and the background (bright sunshine), so I took several images at different exposures and then merged them together in Photoshop using layers.

To learn all about Photoshop and layers, including layers with Lightroom and Capture One, see our inexpensive eBooks: click here.

 

 


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