Slightly Cockeyed

tilted3If you are sick of reading about Older Eyes recent holiday in Rome, this post is for you, although I will get to slip a few photos from our trip to illustrate a point.   As a result of taking hundreds of pictures during our travels, I have realized that Older Eyes is Slightly Cockeyed.  Those of you with dirty minds, stop it right now … off color comments will not only be deleted but shredded.   Of course, cockeyed has many meanings, including crazy, foolish or squint-eyed.  I may be some of those but in this case, I mean turned or tilted to one side : not straight (per the Mirriam-Webster Dictionary).  By the way, word cockeyed has a very interesting etymology you can read about on The Word Detective, here.  Getting back to the subject of this post (mainly me), I’ve known for a long while that before I publish most of my pictures of sunsets over the ocean, I need to use a photo processing application to level the horizon.  I’ve also noticed the horizon in my pictures is consistently tilted to the right.  In fact, my photos are typically tilted 2°±1° to the right.  How do I know this?  The fine rotation correction in Irfan View, my favorite photo processing application, allows me to enter a correction in degrees and most of the time, -2° works.  If I leave the setting at -1°, I can always correct the tilt with one, two or three corrections.

Let me show you what I mean.  Here is a photo I call Bon Voyage, on the left as it came from the camera and after correction.  The correction?  -2°.


Here’s the Arch of Constantine, from the camera and with -3° correction.


Now, according to a post titled Tilted Horizons on the website, photos that list to the right are quite common.  The article suggests using a tripod, being aware of my natural slant, or using a grid mode in the viewfinder to provide a reference for leveling.  As an engineer, I’m more interested in why my photos tilt to the right.   From my running days, I know that my right leg is 3/8 of an inch shorter than my left (requiring correction with orthotics to avoid knee problems).  Interestingly enough (to me, anyway), if I assume that I stand with my feet one foot apart, that amounts to a tilt of 1.8° to the right.  Hmmm.  Tilted Horizons offers the very logical suggestion that because the shutter button is on the right side of the camera, it is natural to tilt the camera slightly when shooting a picture.  It also suggests that people who wear glasses (me) often don’t get their eye close enough to the viewfinder to properly compose the photo.

Anyway, for now, it’s good to know I’m not the only Slightly Cockeyed photographer in the world.  And though I’ll consider shooting in the Grid Mode in the future, for now, I’m keeping Irfan View busy untilting my photos before I show them to anyone.  So tell me true?  Are your photos Slightly Cockeyed?


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One Comment on “Slightly Cockeyed”

  1. sharon towns Says:

    can I borrow your engineer hat? I dont see it.

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