February 21st – Two Strikes

Pier 3

Walsh Bay, at the south-western foot of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, has a significant history dating back to the early 1800’s when several ‘finger’ wharves were constructed to receive goods from merchants around Sydney via the Parramatta River, and traders from the South Seas.

This photo had all the elements I was after, but two things didn’t go to plan here.

Being an overcast morning, it was basically the complete opposite to my desired look – the basin and cupboard would throw some great shadows in the late afternoon sun.

The other is the barrel distortion in the photo – wood panels in the top half of the photo appear to be pointing down, while the bottom half are bending upwards.

This effect is likely a consequence of having this particular lens at its widest capability – 24mm. It’s also a particular subject that has numerous horizontal lines, which draws attention to the distortion.

I would normally shoot landscapes at 24mm, so any effect would be barely noticeable.

Nearly all lenses distort when at it’s widest angle, lowest aperture setting, or furtherest zoom. These effects can be barrel distortion (above), pincushioning (wood panels would bend the opposite direction), or vignetting – darkening of the corners.

Up until this photo I hadn’t really noticed the distortion on this Tamron lens.

I’m running 3 plug-ins in Aperture, though nothing for barrel distortion. It’s one of the strengths of stepping up to Adobe’s Lightroom and Photoshop.

I might have seen this distortion ease (or disappear altogether) if I zoomed in a little, but I would have had to step backwards to catch the same scene, and I didn’t have many steps to spare before I ended up wet.


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