Facade, Court Building

Facade, Court Building - New Orleans, Louisiana

Facade, Court Building – New Orleans, Louisiana

The French Quarter, the historically significant and intact 200 to 300 year old New Orleans neighborhood, is an architectural treasure trove. Most are harmonious one or two-story brick structures, but there are a few larger buildings like this Court House. Appreciating and shooting architecture is one of my favorite tourist pastimes.

For symmetrical designs like this, my natural inclination is to center everything, which seems easier than it looks, at least for me. And shooting at wide-angles seems to exacerbate the challenges. I was using the Olympus PEN-F with the 9-18mm wide-angle at a 18mm equivalent. Not only do I need to have the statue in the center, but I need to shoot perfectly level and perpendicular to the building, which is always my Achilles heel, even with the electronic level in the camera. I suppose, it might be a bit easier with tripod, but I shot this handheld.

Capture One, my new post processing software, has made it easer. There are distortion correction features that allow me to tweak my relationship to the subject. In this photo, I got pretty close, in camera. A slight adjustment was all I needed — to pull the right side closer and the left side further. In other words, to achieve perpendicular, horizontally.

Trying for vertical perpendicular is a whole different story. Capture One can correct for that too, but not in this extreme case. And anyway, the wide-angle tilted back look is what I was going for. The relationship and centered-ness to the building is still not perfect, but close enough for me. Of course, with some buildings, there’s a chance that the structure itself is no longer perfectly plumb.

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