Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Exercise - Positioning the horizon

The object of the exercise is to start looking at the way an image can be divided up. One of the easiest ways of doing this is to look at the position of the horizon line in an image. This can be placed at any point from high to low and can dramatically alter the look of the photograph.

Example 1.

1. A famous view of the Forth Bridges but in this case the high horizon takes the eye completely away from the bridges and onto the area of early planted crops. The light across the field is well shown but this is not the main area of interest here.

2. Here we have a central horizon The eye is drawn more toward the bridges. The focus of the image remains on the crops and the sky also comes more into view.

3. Here the horizon is placed low in the frame on about the bottom 1/3 line. The sky and the cloud mass becomes dominent and the eye is drawn towards the approaching storm which contrasts with the sun on the crop fields.

These 3 images all have a completely different focus simply due to changing the position of the horizon . They were taken in quick succession without changing the viewpoint or the focal length. They all have advantages, but overall I prefer no. 3 as I enjoy cloud patterns and the drama that is shown.

Example 2.

1. A high horizon line - focus is on the field and the tractor markings.

2. The horizon is cental and the area of interest is evenly balanced between the sky and the crops. The storm is definitely coming here!

3. A very slight lowering of the horizon completely changes the balance of the image.

 4. Here the horizon is placed very low and the eye is immediately drawn towards the sky. This one would have worked better as an image if the clouds were much more dramatic.

In this group I prefer either the central or the high horizon as I was planning to show the lines in the field as the main area of interest.

 5. The same image as above but converted to blackand white. This gives a much more dramatic feel to the clouds and make the low horizon successful with a balance between the lines below and the softer curves above.

6. The monochrome here (while interesting ) I feel is less successful than the coloured version as the focus of the image is in the field and this is better shown in colour.

It is interesting that changing the images from colour to monochrome also changes my preferred position of the horizon from high, focus on the fields, to low with the emphasis on the clouds. This showas that a variety of horizon positions can work well and the subject matter and processing chosen may vary the preferred option.

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