Barrell Distortion

Barrel Distortion Correction

Roll your mouse over the image on the right to see the impacts that extreme barrel distortion can have on a picture.

Real estate and architectural photography dictate the use of wider angle lenses. Unfortunately these lenses introduce an imperfection known as Barrel Distortion and the wider the lens the worse the Barrel Distortion can become.

As can be seen in this example, which has been altered to help empasise the distortion, the image curves toward the viewer in much the same way as a barrel does, thus the name. This results in the curving of straight lines most noticably at edge of the image, as shown by the straight upright panels of the bi-fold doors. As wide angle and particularly extreme wide angle lenses have thick 'bubble' shaped glass this issue is unavoidable. Thankfully though this can be corrected during post processing.

Converging Verticals

Converging Verticals

Roll your mouse over the image of the wonderful Art Deco Manuka Swimming Pool in Canberra and see the impact converging verticals have if not corrected.

Have you ever looked at an image of a building on the internet which left you feeling a little uncomfortable and that something about it was not quite right? This can happen to viewers looking at an image which suffers from converging verticals. As a seller, the last thing you need is for a viewer to be thinking that there is something not quite right about your house when viewing it online.

So, what are converging verticals and what causes this feeling? Well, in or minds we know that the walls of buildings are vertical, however if the camera is not presented level to the building then the walls of that building will look as though they are moving toward each other and if the lines of these walls were extened they would eventually meet. The example shown here has been exaggerated to highlight the issue, but in all cases converging verticals result in the building appearing to fall backwards or forwards and has to be corrected.

The key is ensure that the camera is always straight and neither points up nor down. However, due to positioning errors or in the case of compostion problems this issue is sometimes unavoidable and needs correcting during post processing.