Straight is this week’s theme for Sunday Stills photo challenge. Thank you to Graham of Graham’s Island for the theme idea!

Straight conjures up endless meanings in phrases like “Let’s get something straight,” as my post suggests. Or “on the straight and narrow”…you get the idea.

“Never bend your head. Always hold it high. Look the world straight in the eye.”

Helen Keller

Getting it Straight

In photography, straight is an ideal when it comes to lines and perspective. One example, when photographing water landscapes, is to be sure your horizon is straight, or it looks like the water is pouring off the Earth.

This is easily achieved in your post-editing process whether you use your phone’s software, mobile editing apps, or your computer’s software like lightroom or other online editing programs. I use PicMonkey for most of my edits and Lightroom for the complicated ones.

In this example, someone took this photo of me windsurfing. The old boat listing to the side really emphasizes the tilt to the horizon. When you straighten the horizon as shown in the next image, be aware that you may lose some of the image while editing.

For landscape photography, straightening the horizon is one of the first items I edit, in addition to cropping and adjusting exposure.

When working with horizontal and vertical lines, I recommend straightening the lines as shown below in the hummingbird image. The lines of the building in the background are somewhat off vertical.

image example

In this image, I relied on several post-editing technics such as cropping, straightening, exposure, saturation, and sharpening.

Perched Hummingbird_2020

In this case, I used a filter (Painnt) in post-editing which emphasized the vertical lines.

Post-edited hummingbird

Which one do you like best?

Some Examples of Straight

“Straight is the path and narrow the road that leads a wandering soul back home.”

Linda Poindexter

These examples are from images I took at Sacramento State University over the last few years.

Climbing Straight Up

Climbing straight up. In a perspective shot like this, notice the right side of the climbing wall is straight, skewing the other lines in the image.

Walking the straight and narrow along the Guy West Bridge.

Along the straight and narrow bridge
Staying straight with games

Taken at the Sacramento State Aquatic Center, there are so many intersecting lines in this image. Do I straighten the students on land or do I straighten the water on the horizon? No matter what, something in this image will not be straight. In this case, I straightened the horizon but cropped the photo to emphasize the students using teamwork as they try to stay straight on the path.

I couldn’t resist adding this little hummingbird’s vertically straight beak. I wonder what he was looking at?

Hummer Straight Beak

“The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart.”

Maya Angelou

June themes are available to view on my Sunday Stills page.

What does the theme “straight” mean to you this week? Show us in your photos, music, poetry, and stories.

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81 thoughts on “Sunday Stills: Let’s Get Something #Straight

    1. Thank you so much, Cee! Those hummers were everywhere and fighting for the feeders. Glad you liked the topic, too. I haven’t linked with your blog for a bit, been too busy on road trips. I’m sure I’ll be linking with your FOTD soon.


  1. I like the middle hummingbird (of the set of three) the best, Terri. And, I love the one with the straight beak of the bird. I often agree with your picks for the banner photo. 🙂

    I edit my photos in, which is a free program on my computer and usually follow the same steps: sharpening the photo, playing with the saturation, and adding a small contrast. When the horizon isn’t straight, I adjust that as well. Sometimes, I crop a photo to accentuate something. I love the play with photography and hope to be able to do so whenever I’m retired., 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. To be honest Terri I would’ve used any filters on your bird photos. The extra colour makes the eye focus on the bright red instead of the bird. Like all photography we all have our unique ways of capturing things and life. The foot bridge caught my attention.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. HI, Terri – This is such a great theme.
    Damn straight
    Straight from the horse’s mouth
    Straight goods
    Straight out of the chute
    Straight Man
    Straight Shooter………. the choices are endless!

    Straight to the point, your photographs are beautiful. Love the hummingbirds!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Terrific theme choice Terri – lots of room for interpretation. And some great examples of how to improve imperfect images! My favorite of the hummingbirds is the straightened image in the middle although I preferred the little creature itself in the unedited version.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This post makes me realize how little I know about photography. I have never edited a photo for the horizon! I do dislike a photo sometimes, but I often couldn’t tell you why. Something seems off to me. I tend to think more about the object in the foreground and worry less about the background. We had a professional photographer at our wedding. I have a picture of me in church and the crucifix on the church wall is coming out of my head. I don’t know how I didn’t notice it then, but now it drives me crazy! I loved you little bird with the straight beak.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Love the windsurfing pic of you, and also the hummingbird with its little beak sticking straight up. So cute!

    I agree that getting the straight lines to work harmoniously is a key compositional element. You did terrific things with your lines in this post. : )

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I can’t tell you how many photos I have of the sea and ocean falling off the side of the earth, Terri. Have you thought about writing and publishing some photo editing tips blog posts? I’m sure they’d go down very well.

    I can always find time for editing my blog posts, but editing my photos is another thing.

    This was the best photo I could find for this week’s theme. I thought the river looked dead straight in the photo, even though the shoreline says otherwise.

    Have a great week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for those kind words, Hugh! 🙂 I’ve thought about updating my Blogging with Photography book, so I appreciate your suggestion. It takes hours to select and edit photos! You nailed this photo, Hugh. Not only is it a lovely images, but the overall effect is straight and the boats can happily rest knowing they won’t slide off the planet 😆

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lol, yeah, this is one photo where the boards stayed afloat, Terri. Many of my photos where water is failing off the edges is when I’ve been holding Toby or Austin on a dog-leash with the other hand, and they decide to move just at the wrong moment. That’s my excise, anyway.

        Liked by 1 person

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