Photography Tips for Beginners - Getting your horizon straight

Tips for great photos with a straight horizon

When you are photography beginner or just want to take your photography more seriously you are suddenly bombarded with so many things to focus on.

Things get forgotten, some are fixable and some just aren’t. But all can help you learn and build your skills as a photographer.

Getting your horizons straight can be challenging for a bunch of reasons. But they are worth getting right.

The good news is that you can fix them later on your computer, BUT when you do this you will lose the edges of your image and sometimes important parts of the shot. So it is always best to try and get it right in camera.

So how do you do it?

You may be lucky and your camera has an inbuilt artificial horizon. If you do, use it, it is perfect for getting this right. On the Nikon cameras this is in live view and one of the display options.

Most cameras don’t have this built in, so you have to rely on your eye or pick up a level of some sort. These levels are helpful, but be careful to buy one that is quality so it doesn’t give you a false level.

photography tips for beginners getting your horizon straight
Hot shoe level can make it easier to get a level horizon

Earlier I mentioned it can be tough. For instance in the image below the coast line is curved and that can throw your eye off. You need to look at the part of the horizon that just has the water in it to get it right.

photography tips for beginners getting your horizon straight
The trick is to get the little bit of horizon on the left with the water only straight

The level however is simple, take your time and try and get your shot level when you capture it. But if you don’t then fix it with post production.

Whatever you do, don’t leave your image off level, that is unless you plan to do it deliberately, if you do that, make it quite extreme so it looks like a decision not a mistake.

Enjoy your adventures


Need help? Why not book your own adventure with us with one of our Weekend Photography Courses especially for beginners.

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