New York, Converging Verticals - lightintheblack

Hi everyone,

Iv taken a trip to New York City to check out the Manhattan skyscrapers and feel the vibe on the streets. And I've been really really impressed, All cities have a 'picture perfect, tourist centre' and I'm sure NY is no different in that, but this city seems to have a certain dignity to it. I don't know if it's the post Sept 11th thing, or the natural progression of a city that strives to become it's adult after it's own childhood, but where ever you look, and who ever you speak to there are tails of how much better New York is now than say 20 or 30 years ago. The Central Park Conservancy has transformed the park from graffiti ridden mud and wasteland to a beautiful serene place, used by thousands, and safer now than ever before. Murders are a fraction of those in the 1990's and the prosperity of the city is evident all around in contrast to the near bankruptcy of the 1970's.

I'v loved it and will definitely return. Never have I seen before such an amazing differential in the height of the habitat. Talk about a concrete jungle. It's a good analogy. Just like in a natural jungle there are levels upon levels in this jungle, some easily seen from below, some hidden, maybe to be discovered. Roof tops, balconies, terraces, viewing platforms, they all compete for a place in the New York plethora.


Standing on street level and shooting up, it is difficult to avoid extreme converging verticals. It's a phenomenon of site and becomes obvious in photography, Lines converge, but in New York the buildings are often so high it is exaggerated. It may be that is your vision of the shot, in which case, fine, exaggerate it even more, why not. But if it's not your thing, there are 4 main things you can do to counteract this.

1. Move further away from the building. The further away you are the less the distortion will be apparent.

2. Get higher. If you are shooting on the same level as the centre of the building, you will reduce the lenses ability to distort and keep things on a better keel.

3. Buy an extremely expensive Tilt - Shift lens that will compensate for the perspective and render the image 'straight on' to the viewer.

4. Take the image to photoshop and play with the perspective tools to change the pixels of the image.


In any case, converging verticals are a fact of life but by making choices of how you wish to see them and use them in your photography will help your photographs come to life and shine as you intended.


Look at some of my New York photos HERE


Patrick



Photos

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