Keep Your Horizon Level
Here are six ways to help you keep your camera horizons level.
1. Use the grid view in the camera. Most cameras these days have a grid overlay that you can turn on inside your viewfinder. The grid overlay usually adds four vertical lines and four horizontal lines to your viewfinder focusing screen that help you with aligning objects in the scene. To keep the horizon level just line up the grid line with the horizon.
2. Use a tripod. A tripod with a ball head is a great way to help keep level horizons. My experience is that I slow down, taking more time to set up my shots, and it is easier to aligning my camera with the horizon. For me, it has become a habit to carry and use a tripod since I shoot a lot of macro photography.
3. Use a level. One of the easiest ways of ensuring a level shot is by using a Spirit Level such as the Hama 2 model available at Amazon here. It fits into the accessory hot shoe on the top of your camera and allows for both vertical and horizontal compositions. It is perfect for shots when using a tripod. I don’t recommend using the level while hand-holding your camera. Looking through the viewfinder to composing a shot and trying to look at the level in impossible.
4. Use your camera’s Live View mode. Newer cameras from Nikon, Canon, Sony and Olympus have a Live View mode letting you take your eyes from the viewfinder and view your shot on the camera’s LCD screen. Live View is great for macro photography. If you get into a position where it is difficult to use the viewfinder you can stand back from the camera and compose the shot from a comfortable position.
6. Scan all the edges of your frame. Many times you will find that your horizon consists of mountains or hills, which doesn’t necessarily have anything that is “level” along the bottom of the frame. In this situation, use the side of a building or a tree and line up the vertical subject with the vertical edge of your viewfinder. If the buildings are vertical, then it is a safe bet that the horizon will be level.
So there you are! Six ways to ensure level horizons in your shot making.
Thank you for taking the time to stop by! I hope you can take something away from this post to help you improve your shot making.