Is it level? – Problems with water and horizons

the North Sea
The North Sea following the British Isles as it slowly slides off the planet.
Sometimes it is really obvious that something is just plain wrong with a picture. Of course, you can deliberately have the sea sliding off planet Earth for an effect, but usually it’s just you haven’t noticed the background or in my case trying to photograph the sea/horizon (above) was not holding the camera properly (excuses, excuses).

Doesn't quite feel level does it?
Doesn’t quite feel level does it?

Photographing water – oceans, rivers, canals and even a glass of liquid comes with expectations. It feels right when the liquid looks level. Well, obviously getting a flat calm sea horizon level is pretty easy, but it all becomes more tricky when the waterline isn’t the main focus of the picture.



Since I took these canal photos I’ve been more careful when framing a shot that includes water, but I really, really struggled with this City of London skyline.

City of London horizon
The City of London from Canary Wharf . . . Take 1001!!

And, in the end – defeated – adjusted it in Photoshop.


Okay smarty pants we all know your a natural. Now give me back my camera please.
Okay smarty pants we all know your a natural. Now give me back my camera please.

Author: agnesashe

Artisan, blogger and passionate East Anglian working from home.

10 thoughts on “Is it level? – Problems with water and horizons”

    1. Yes – I know, but it is the time factor and most annoyingly when I’m using Photoshop it screws up Firefox and makes it freeze. ‘No such thing as a free lunch’ comes to mind!

    1. I fight with Photoshop mostly for my product pictures, but as far as gardens and flowers are concerned there is no substitute for early morning/evening natural light. I don’t know if you find this, but so often I look at a planting and think that’s truly beautiful, but just can’t capture it at all. The shot ends up just looking like a green twiggy mess. I take my hat off to the professionals.

      1. On Saturday I visited a lovely garden with a professional – better equipment helps but infinite patience too.

      2. Thank you for your replies – have been toying with the idea of getting at least one fancy lens, but it’s more to carry and they are surprisingly heavy.

  1. They’re lovely photographs.
    Slanty horizons don’t bother me a bit….but if a picture on a wall hung even slightly skew-whiff…… I get totally antsy until I straighten it… matter whose house I’m in.

    1. Of course, straighten those frames. Slanty horizons all fine for me except the sea. Ski-slope seas often just make what could’ve been a great shot look amateurish.

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