Weekly Photo Challenge: Curves

Many of my photographs are taken using the Sigma 10-20mm wide-angle lens fitted to my camera. With a wide-angle lens I can fit more into the frame, especially usefully if I am working with wide open landscapes or the cramped interior of a church as I often do. The downside of a wide-angle lens though is distortion, which is seen in many ways.

When I’m using a wide-angle lens, invariably I will be very close to my foreground interest. With a wide-angle lens the foreground interest objects appear very large in the frame, but as an exact opposite, distant objects will look very small.

Sunset at Talacre

“What has this got to do with Curves”? I can hear you asking. Bear with me. I’m getting there.

Another downside, due to the exaggerated difference in size between near and far objects, wide angle lenses tend to produce a distorted image. This distortion can sometimes work to my advantage by giving the photograph an abstract look, like the curves (at last) in this photograph of Tewkesbury Abbey.

If I had photographed the Abbey on a horizontal plane, i.e. the lens of my camera pointing straight down the Abbey parallel to the floor, then there would have been almost no distortion. But I know that if I point my camera towards the roof, distortion is going to occur and the greater the angle between the floor and the roof my camera creates, the greater the distortion, or curve (that word again) is going to be.

To a certain extent I can correct the distortion, as both Photoshop and Photoshop Elements have lens correction filters built in. Here you can see the result of applying the filter on the image above

The filter has done a reasonable job. There’s still some distortion and you’ll also notice that the image has been cropped quite a fair bit. Personally I prefer the curved image. I deliberately shot the scene the way I did, knowing that there would be distortion. Which one do you prefer?