Day Eight: “Edge” — Straighten Your Image

At Ta Prohm, the jungle temple in the Angkor Wat complex in Cambodia, centuries-old carvings have fallen victim to time and tree roots. In some areas, walls still stand, their intact windows creating frames and portals. The solid, straight edges of the windows are a stark contrast to the stones that have tumbled down over time.

Today, show us an edge — a straight line, a narrow ridge, a precipice.

Today’s Tip: Use an editing tool to check the alignment and adjust the image so that your edge is perfectly straight. If you can picture in your mind the grid pattern of a rule of thirds, you will be able to easily straighten your edge, or horizon.

Day Eight: “Edge” — Straighten Your Image

Most photo editing software or apps include a straightening tool that imposes a grid over your photo — you move the image until your edge aligns with one of the straight grid lines, and voila! There are a few ways to tackle this, and many of them are free:

  • If you use Instagram, straighten an image with the Adjust Tool. Other phone editing apps — Snapseed, Camera+, VSCO — offer similar abilities.
  • PicMonkey lets you upload and edit any photo. To straighten, click “Edit,” choose a photo from your computer, then click on the “Rotate” tab. Use the slider to adjust your photo’s angle.
  • Pixlr Express works similarly to PicMonkey. First, click “Browse,” then select a photo from your computer, then click “Adjustment” and “Rotate.” Use the slider to adjust your photo’s angle.
  • Photoshop and Lightroom, two popular pieces of software, each have a straightening tool. In Photoshop, adjust a photo’s angle while cropping, or use the Ruler to see the precise angle of your line. In Lightroom, look for the “Crop and Straighten” tool; it’s the first icon on the left in the Develop Module.

You can also use these tools to make sure your leading lines go exactly where you want them, or to straighten a photo to emphasize the Rule of Thirds.

Rotating and straightening an image in Pixlr Express.
Rotating and straightening an image in Pixlr Express.

Don’t miss next week’s blogs, as I start another 10 day series of “Tips of basic photography”. It is always interesting to see other points of view in Basic Photography, and I am excited to show you these 10 episodes of Basic photography.

Ideas to help you keep your horizon straight, or edges. A tripod with bubble balance (Click on this link to see ideas) is a big help. Check out that link. My tripod has a bubble balance, and every time I take a sunset photo over the lake, I use that bubble balance to make sure my horizon line is perfect.

Mother’s day gift ideas (Click on this link to get some great ideas).

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