In a post last year I discussed using Tom Neimann’s PTLens program to correct for barrel, pincushion and perspective distortions in your architectural images. Tom’s program and Photoshop plug-in filter are nothing lens than amazing at correcting distortions that are easy to overlook with the naked eye. For most of us, using PTLens is definitely the way to go.
There is another way to correct for perspective distortions however, using a “Tilt & Shift” lens such as Canon’s brand new TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II. Since I’m a newbie at using a Tilt & Shift lens I’ll leave the complete explanation and demonstration of this unique lens’ features to Bryan Carnathan at The-Digital-Picture.com. Bryan does a much better job of explaining the technical aspects of this unique lens than I ever could.
I was fortunate enough to be able to try out this lens last year during a shoot in Goliad, Texas. I started by setting up my tripod and taking a few quick shots of Goliad’s historic courthouse using my EF 24-105mm zoom at 28mm.
As you can see in this image, the top of the courthouse seems to lean away from you and the vertical lines tend to converge. This is typical perspective distortion caused by the wide-angle lens being tilted up to capture the entire building in the frame.
Correcting this using a Tilt & Shift lens is very simple. You first level your camera on the tripod (which cuts off the top of the building in the frame) and then simply turn the shift knob until the building “shifts” down and into the frame as shown in the final image below. I finished this image very simply using Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro plug-in filter. I find that most architectural images look best in black & white.