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Viewfinder and composition


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As with others, I turn ON the grid in the viewfinder.

The grid helps me align vertical and horizontal objects, giving me a better chance to get a level photo.

On my Nikon F2, I used a P screen that had a vertical and horizontal line, for just this reason, to help me keep my images level. I shot slides a lot, so I did not have post processing to level the image. It had to be level in the camera.


When you press the shutter, it is very common with some people, to press too hard and shove the right side of the camera down. This results in an image that is not level, even if you leveled the camera before the shot.


If you are supporting the camera primarily with your right hand, rather than with the left hand under the body and lens, you could be tilting the right side of the camera down, to make it easier for your right hand to hold the camera.


A problem that I discovered in the last few months, that I did not have when I shot film, maybe because I am older.

My left eye is looking all around, my right eye is in the viewfinder. So the left and right eye are not in sync and working together. This is how I shoot sports/action.

But, the camera is tilted, not level.

According to my eye doc, when the eyes are not working together, they go to a natural resting position, and that can also mean the eye is actually rotated slightly. This results in the tilting. You can see this by doing this:

  • Cover one eye, and look at something with a horizontal line, like the bottom of the computer screen.
  • Then switch to cover the other eye, then look at the same horizontal line.

If the angle of the line changes from eye to eye, you have the problem that I described.


Because of this, I do NOT crop tight in the camera. I expect to have to level the image in post processing/editing, so I try to leave extra space that will get lost when I level the image later.


As for "meaningless composition," that is a completely different subject.

For that you need to study composition (books, web, etc.) and look at and study GOOD images (paintings, drawings and photos).

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