Many new photographers have a hard time keeping that horizon straight and will end up with tilted images. Here are some quick tips to help you end up with straight pictures
1. Use your eyes: Well this might seems just too obvious, but it is true, the first thing you have to do is to look. Many new photographers are so excited about taking the picture that they just don’t pay attention whether the picture looks tilted or not. So first thing to do before going any further is to incorporate it into your reflex system. So set it as an assignment for yourself, and teach yourself to think about whether the picture looks tilted into your viewfinder or not and very quickly this will just become automatic.
Now that you are used to think about getting straight pictures let us learn some techniques to get a higher success percentage
2. Use your viewfinder: One very easy trick is to level your horizon on the top or bottom of your viewfinder
3. Use your focus points: This is the technique I use the most, I prefer it to the viewfinder technique because the later keeps me with a blind spot in my picture that I cannot see. So I just align the horizon of my picture to the row of focus points.
4. Make use of the tripod: Most tripods have a bubble level that can be very useful to get a straight picture so why not just use it. Just for info, the bubble level indicates that the camera is straight when the bubble is inside the black circle, just like shown in the picture.
5. Get a hot shoe bubble level: The problem in the bubble level of the tripod is that your tripod might only a level for the base but not the head, so in such a case you can buy a hot shoe two axis Bubble Level
6. In the digital dark room: I was actually hesitating in writing this point since we agreed in point 1. that the first step should be to get the picture straight in camera, however in the path leading to straight horizon pictures you might have some misses. And if you like the picture there is no reason to delete it just because it is tilted, straightening the horizon in the digital dark room is very easy. In fact I will be posting a quick and dirty tip on how to straighten the horizon in Adobe Photoshop tomorrow.