Saturday, December 22, 2012

Fixing a Stretchy-Faced Horse

This is a really common thing in horse photos: the dreaded Lens Distortion. This is Honey, the Christmas Pony I'm working on today. I love her expression in the reference photo at top, but I could tell the camera had made her nose too long! I have to correct that, and here's how I do it. 
 I printed two photos of her and measured both, from the poll behind the ears to the bottom point of her eye, and then from that point to the top edge of her nostril. Those distances were close to identical in the side (un-distorted) view, but in the close-up they differed by 50%!
A bit of quick math: 1.45 divided by 1.25, from the side print, gave me 1.16. On my distorted print, the ear-to-eye length is 2", and 2 x 1.16 was 2.32. I have to guess a little here, but I made the dark line at around 2 and 1/3" -- that's where the top of the nostril would be if the lens hadn't distorted Honey's face.

I measure other things, often less precisely; I will also have to account for her muzzle being too wide, for example, and pare that down as I create the sketch.  The side view won't help a lot with that, but I'm experienced enough to figure it out. 

I already did a post of simple tips for better amateur dog photos, and all of those apply to horses, but if I can find a horse-photography tutorial I'll link it here.

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