Photographing Outdoors? Remember to Level the Horizon!

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Wayzata Lakes Realty: Eric Kodner Sells Twin Cities Homes

Photographing Outdoors?  Remember to Level the Horizon!


A pet peeve of mine is outdoor photographs of waterfront panoramas (or any horizon photo) where the horizon is crooked, inclined at an angle, rather than straight and level. 

There's probably no photographic blemish (other than maybe a finger in front of the lens) that looks more careless and amateurish.  And there's no excuse for leaving these crooked photos in a real estate slide show or virtual tour, particularly when it takes a few moments to correct the horizon in your photos.

There are lots of ways to accomplish this, but the easiest one is to edit away this unsightly problem using Picasa's free "Straighten" tool.  As most of you know, Picasa is free and it's also wonderfully easy to use.

This is done in three easy steps, presuming that you already have Picasa on your computer.


First, open your photo with the crooked horizon in Picasa and select the "Straighten" tool in the editing menu to the left of the photo.

Select Straightening Tool


Once you've selected "Straighten" a grid consisting of fine white dotted lines will be superimposed over your lopsided photo.

Un-level horizon photo with grid overlay


Move the slider at the bottom of the photo to the left or right as needed to level the horizon.  Then click "Apply".

Level horizon after correction with Picasa Straighten tool

The photo above is your finished product, with a level horizon.  I used the water's edge on the horizon as a guideline.

There are many other ways to accomplish the same thing using Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, or other photo editing tools.  The important thing is to stop uploading these bizarre, crooked horizon shots to your real estate website, to virtual tours and even MLS photo archives. You'll look more professional and viewers won't get vertigo looking at photos that are intended to show off your listing.








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Contact Broker Eric Kodner with Wayzata Lakes Realty about Minneapolis & Saint Paul area properties, including Lake Minnetonka, Edina and the Minneapolis City Lakes area (Lake Calhoun, Lake of the Isles, Lake Harriet). We also sell on the Saint Croix River and on Lake Superior, including Bayfield, Wisconsin and Madeline Island homes.  With sixteen years experience marketing and selling waterfront properties in Minnesota and Wisconsin, we know Lake Minnetonka and Madeline Island real estate.

Wayzata Lakes Realty LLC (Minnesota) and Madeline Island Realty LLC (Wisconsin)

Real Estate Brokerage licensed in Minnesota & Wisconsin

Phone or Text Message 612.670.2539  or

Wayzata Lakes Realty






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Li Read
Sea to Sky Premier Properties (Salt Spring) - Salt Spring Island, BC
Caring expertise...knowledge for you!

As usual, great advice!  Always appreciate your thoughtful posts, Eric.  You are the reason I began to investigate social media...thank you!

Dec 29, 2013 06:08 AM #1
Eric Kodner
Madeline Island Realty - La Pointe, WI
CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -

Li, thank you for the nice compliment! I happen to be a huge fan of your own writing skills.

Dec 29, 2013 11:31 AM #2
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Eric Kodner

Wayzata Lakes Realty: Twin Cities, Madeline Island
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