The Flying Buttress

Thanks Christchurch!

I very much enjoyed the photowalk and talk yesterday. Everyone was genuinely nice and engaged. I got a bunch of good questions. People in NZ were even nicer than I expected! I look forward to seeing the Flickr group for the event…and perusing people’s shots! Feel free to post it below!

Daily Photo – The Flying Buttress

I mentioned during the photowalk tonight this effect of the wide-angle lens. Whenever you aim it above the horizon, everything leans in a bit. Now, I occasionally get negative comments that think that this “leaning” looks bad, unprofessional, and unrealistic. I have to disagree! It doesn’t bother me a bit. My eye adjusts, and, well, I think it just looks cool.

The church below is from Dresden, Germany.  I am 98% sure of this… I don’t know why I am having trouble remembering…  I think I am getting old.  I did have to wake up at 5 AM to go to the bathroom last night… a bad sign.

  • I agree too, Wide angle effect looks awesome! I think it adds to the enormity of this place in your photo.

  • casusan

    Oh wow! Magnificent!! Love this Trey – and you’ll never be ‘old’!!

  • Sometimes, the perspective is appropriate, and this is definitely one of those times!

  • Great POV!

  • Jon Wiltshire

    Had a brilliant time at the photowalk and talk, thanks for imparting some of what you know Trey. The glimpses into your (current) workflow were quite handy.

    This looks to be the Flickr group (though not much action so far):[email protected]/

  • The photo walk and talk were excellent and loads of fun, thanks Trey. Great to meet you and your lovely family. Have a safe trip home and come back soon. I have posted a couple of my first HDR attempts to the Flickr group, I think I have some work to do 🙂

  • A fantastic image! I love (ultra) wide angle shots and I also get sometimes negative reactions on the leanings. I like it it when it’s leaning a lot. Otherwise I tend to straighten it (just like using a shift lens).

  • LOL, Trey, just wait, it gets better 😉 . I don’t think there is anything wrong with the tilting, either. It’s how they look naturally when seen with the eye. Great photo, thanks for sharing. Have a safe trip home with your family!!

  • A lot of times I just LOVE the wide angle leaning / controsion 😉
    I just bought my 10-22mm Canon Lense specifically to achive this effect more often. It adds a lot of dynamic to the picture. And a lot of your outdoor pics display great cloud formations because of wide angle shots.

  • Anne

    You might want to rethink the title of the photo. The flying buttresses would be on the outside of the church. What we see are ribbed vaults. It’s a terrific photo, no matter where it was taken.

  • There is no doubt that converging lines has its place, and you definately use it well. But, I have always wondered why you don’t use a perspective control lens. A man of your status should have one. 😛 The lenses are also excellent for creating perefectly aligned panoramas. Canon now has a 17mm tilt/shift that is supposed to be amazing!

  • Tyler

    I think, in this photo, the composition as well as the “leaning” effect sorta pull me in. Its hard to explain but its like one of those pictures you stare at indirectly. The columns at the bottom almost take on a 3D feel. Maybe its just me. Kick ass shot though!

  • Awesome picture !!
    I would also suggest you to considering using the Nikon GP-1 for your D3X to geotag your photo so that you can easily found out where did you took the picture and the GPS signal normally works fine in a church with large window.

  • Thanks everyone -enjoy the comments as always – I read them all !

    Steven – yes I do need to start geotagging my stuff better…. !!! Do you use one of those things

  • I am willing to bet Trey has an iPhone. With a $3 app. and an Apple, you can run the app with the phone in your pocket and geo tag as a part of the post processing flow. No additional hardware, the price is right. The advantage of an external GPS is it geo tags onto the picture file instead of adding it afterward by matching the time stamp with the iPhone app. track file. But you don’t have an annoying gadget always getting in the way or eating camera battery. And, thank you Anne … flying buttresses are on the outside to keep the ceiling weight from pushing the walls outward and into genreal collapse. At least that is what I was taught many years ago in history, I think, at about grade 5. Strange how you remember some things and not others. App is “Place Tagger”.

  • Jenna


  • Thelonious Gonzo

    You know who cares about tilt/shift stuff?
    Professional photographers.
    You know who couldn’t give a crap and loves your stuff the way it is?
    Everyone else.

    Camera Snobs are so out dated and they don’t even know it.
    95% of the viewing public could care less about the old paradigms of photography. Your stuff is far more interesting.

  • …naysayers! Doesn’t everybody know that diagonal lines are more interesting? Besides, who ever said that photographs are supposed to be realistic??

  • Davesix

    Most of your work is lovely.
    This looks like a cartoon.

  • Thanks!

  • I love the effect. It makes me feel there. I do the churches here in my home town and graciously take advantage of that effect. If you like HDR (which you are here, afterall) and churches then:

  • I think the tilt is appropriate for a building of this magnitude.

  • It makes the ceiling seem further away (like a vanishing point). So it gives the feeling of being taller.

  • Doug M

    No. If an aspect of a photo is in context then bloody well use it.Photographers that grip about the first thing they see that does not strictly adhere to conventional/traditional “guidelines” aren’t doing anything but trying to prove how smart and knowledgeable they are. The true mark of an intermediate.

  • Chris M

    I have read many books, blog posts and tweets of some very successful photographers in the last few months. Almost all of them say the same thing. Ignore the naysayers. There are many people out there looking to bring down those more successful than themselves. There may be some out there that are simply trying to (in their opinion) help you, but most are just trying to knock you down a peg. Great photo and keep shooting what is pleasing to you. Most of us agree with your vision or we wouldn’t be here reading your blog.

  • In general, I don’t like the leaning. But for this image, I think it works very well. I mainly don’t like the leaning of shots of the exterior of buildings. That seems distracting because it doesn’t add anything to the image, I think, other than unrealistic lines. For example, I don’t like the leaning in this shot – .

  • thanks for the comments – very interesting

  • Thomas

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news…but this church is, indeed, not in Dresden. It’s in Leipzig. It’s the Thomaskirche, and none other than J.S. Bach himself is interred in the floor in front of the altarpiece! Regardless, a great picture! I’m glad I discovered this site!

  • Ben

    Hi Trey,

    I agree with Thomas. This is not Dresden. Though I can’t say it is Leipzig for sure (didn’t make it there), I went in every church in Dresden and I don’t remember seeing this, or at least I didn’t take any pictures of church like that.

  • Nicole King

    Where are the flying buttresses? In a photo of the inside of a church, they would only be visible through a window. A flying buttress is an external structure that BUTTRESSES the wall to stop it falling outward under the pressure of the roof.

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