Phillip Breske's picture

Gold Coast Railroad Museum, Miami

The Gold Coast Railroad Museum is basically in the parking lot of ZooMiami (formerly the Miami Metrozoo). Some of the buildings used by the museum were part of the Richmond Naval Air Station, a WW2 lighter-than-air hangar and maintenance facility. I photographed a few of these structures several years ago.

The first two pictures show interesting shapes, but I have no idea what they are/were for. The third is of one of the few remaining pieces of three large, mostly wooden hangars that were destroyed by fire in 1945. It's used now as a tower for telecommunications antennas.

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6 Comments

Chris Jablonski's picture

Interesting structures, Phillip. Definitely prefer the last image which exudes a power. Looks as if it's by the same photographer as your recent lighthouse post.

If you don't mind my asking, I think you were shooting upwards with a 28mm lens, so how did you manage to have so little convergence? Or did you not point up much, and crop the bottom?

Phillip Breske's picture

I used Capture One's perspective tools. I could have removed the convergence completely, but it was really extreme and made everything look ... weird. Also, since those tools stretch one end of the image to correct for the distortion, you can reach the limitations of the original image resolution pretty quickly when you hit it too hard. These shots were with a Konica Minolta 7D and thus started out as 6MP photos. Not a lot to work with if you want to make a print. Nowadays, my Sony a99ii has so much resolution that I wouldn't bat an eye at cropping or correcting like crazy.

Chris Jablonski's picture

Yes Phillip, I agree that completely correcting convergence in an image taken at a steep upward angle can create a disturbing "looming" effect. I think you got it just right here.

Phillip Breske's picture

Do you have any rules of thumb for perspective correction? I tend to correct it completely if the horizon (or where the horizon should be) is visible in the photo, and mostly ignore correction if the camera is pointed at such an angle that the horizon is well out of the frame.

In this case, because the structure was so narrow and tall, it looked outrageous with no correction, so I tuned it a little bit.

Chris Jablonski's picture

Yours is an interesting rule of thumb, Phillip. I've never thought of this in that way, but my rules of thumb probably amount to much the same in practice.

I'm pretty obsessional, and irritated by very slightly tilted horizons and skewed verticals, so if there is mild perspective distortion I try to make it disappear. I'll use any tools - perspective correction as such, shear, mild rotation, adding rectilinear distortion - whatever it takes to make the image LOOK right. I try to minimise the inadvertent cropping that unavoidably creeps in when doing this kind of correction to an image I've originally framed up as carefully as I could. I don't do much purely architectural work, so I might have to deal with tilted trees, or half a sea horizon, etc.

Certainly with buildings where one might max out "rising front", I think complete correction can look odd - that looming look. My widest lens is 20mm, and that's all I want as wider lenses so often introduce these distortions to an annoying degree. With the 20, I'll sometimes level the camera and crop massively later, rather than use a wider lens.

Sometimes deliberate and obvious convergence is fine.

Phillip Breske's picture

I rarely use my 17-35 zoom for the same reason; it introduces SO much distortion that can make some scenes look bizarre.