Dubrovnik, Croatia

Baroque Morning, or How I Minimize Perspective Distortion

One August morning in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Dubrovnik.

There were two things that made getting an image like this one complicated. One was the sheer quantity of people that usually flood into Dubrovnik every day, but especially so in the summer. This was solved by getting up very early in the morning. As an added bonus, the light was much better than what one might get later during the day.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik, Croatia

The second issue is that this church is in a rather small square, so getting it all in requires a wide angle lens. Here I had to set my 16-55mm zoom at a focal length of 18mm. Also, unless one can shoot from some height, the camera ends up pointing upwards, and this means perspective distortion and falling vertical lines, as can be seen in the uncorrected image below.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Sometimes this kind of distortion is OK, but if one wants to minimize or correct it, here are some useful tips:

  • Don’t just settle for the first shooting position you can find, but get as far away from your subject as you can. Here I was literally with my back against the wall that closes the opposite site of the square.
  • Get as high as you can. Find a staircase or a rail to climb onto or get someone to lend you a ladder, if you can. This will make the camera tilt less upwards and reduce the distortion.
  • Leave a little bit more air around your subject than the composition would ask for. When you apply the necessary correction at the computer, you will have to crop and having extra pixels will help a lot.

Equipment used: Fujifilm X-E2, Fujinon XF 16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR.

Exposure data: 1/60s at f/8, ISO 200. Vertical distortion corrected in Adobe Lightroom.

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