Sunday, August 05, 2007
Basic Photography Notes: The Horizon Line
One of the first things that comes up in a basic photography class is the placement of a horizon line in landscape photographs.
There seems to be a basic human impulse to place the horizon line in the center of the frame, dividing the image into a top and bottom half. That sort of division, however, is usually less dynamic than a 1/3 to 2/3 split, so one of the first lessons for landscape photographers is to divide the frame into three parts and place the horizon line 1/3 from the bottom or 1/3 from the top of the frame. After a while that sort of composition becomes second nature, and becomes a basic tool for most photographers.
There are always exceptions of course. Above is a snapshot I made of the Central Park Reservoir. I've purposefully placed the horizon in the center of the frame, but the stronger element of the railing is placed 1/3 from the bottom of the frame -- making the image read as divided into that traditional 1/3 vs 2/3 split.