Project 12: Positioning The Horizon

Project 12:  Positioning the horizon

This project was about exploring the horizon, where it should be placed within the frame, it required me to take a series of pictures, each with the horizon in a different position in the frame.

My understanding (which is very little, I may add) of horizons and where exactly to place them within an image was almost always top or bottom third (within the rule of thirds), however, the more I explored this subject, the more I now realise, that it goes much deeper.

The horizon as well as dividing the frame, it is in most cases a feature itself, and in some cases when the image has very little if any points of interest, then it would be the only feature, that’s when I would have more difficulties deciding exactly where to place it. The majority of pictures I looked at that included the horizon, and very little else, tended to place the horizon lower in the frame as oppose to the upper section, on reflection it does seem to work better than the images with the horizon in the upper half of the frame, it seems to give the image some form of stability, the higher up the horizon is placed the more top-heavy they seem to be.

Whenever there is interest in either the sky or the ground, my choices will be a lot easier (if not already made for me). If there is an interesting feature in the foreground or there is a lack of sky interest then I would tend to place the horizon higher.

If on the other hand, there was a lack of interesting features in the foreground or I am presented with a great sunset/sunrise or good cloud patterns, then I would be leaning toward placing the horizon lower down the frame.

Although I realise there are occasions when I will need to split 50/50 or almost evenly, when the scene would offer interest in both the upper and lower half of the frame, I have seen this often especially when reflections are involved.

So for my images I choose a location not far from home on the edges of Rowney Warren near Chicksands, the scene to my front was a rape oil field, and the sun was just about to disappear. Tripod set as to get a fairly level and consistent image throughout the series.

My first image (below) I placed the horizon low in the frame, because most of the image below the horizon is dark and there is not a lot to view, and the main interest is on the horizon above it, this seemed a good choice.



For my second image (below) in this series, I lowered the camera slightly, revealing more or the (dark and uninteresting) ground, but at the same time, reducing the amount of sky that was visible in my first image, I could see instantly where this was leading.

slightly higher

slightly higher

The third image (below), was only an increase of what I had already discovered, from moving the camera lower the first time round. What I was doing as I moved the camera lower each time was increasing uninteresting area’s of the scene, and cropping the better area’s of the scene.

higher still

higher still

The last image in the series, I placed the the horizon central, apart from it not being straight, as with all the images above, the most interesting part of the image is the horizon itself, with the sky  immediately above it, less so, the higher up it goes.

horizon placed central

horizon placed central

Of the above images my favorites in order start at the top and work down. This might well, and probably would have been different should it have been light, and I could have seen the field to my front, giving me something interesting to view.

click here to to see my references for this project


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