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Old November 15th, 2009, 07:42 PM
The People's Champion The People's Champion is offline
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Can someone give me a dummy's explanation to horizon line?

I have heard this alot. Is there a real crash course explanation to it and does every photographer have to obey the rules of it?
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Old November 15th, 2009, 07:50 PM
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Nikon_Mario Nikon_Mario is offline
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Re: Can someone give me a dummy's explanation to horizon line?

Two general rules about the horizon line:

1. Keep it straight. A horizon that is crooked tends to distract from the scene.
2. Keep out of center for more impact. A "lower than center" horizon will tend to emphasize the sky [or whatever is above the horizon]. A "higher than center" horizon will tend to emphasize the foreground.

Now... someone will surely post that rules are meant to be broken. But you need to understand why the rule(s) exist... and then, if you break them, it is because you understand what the rule intends, and your process of breaking the rule is an intentional decision based on an aspect of composition that you might be trying to emphasize.

For example, taking a picture from a perspective that is intended to create dizziness would be more effective when the horizon is not straight.

Hope that helps.
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Old November 15th, 2009, 09:05 PM
The People's Champion The People's Champion is offline
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Re: Can someone give me a dummy's explanation to horizon line?

How can someone else know that you intended to break the rule?

BTW I appreciate you answering my question
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Old November 15th, 2009, 09:20 PM
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Scott111184 Scott111184 is offline
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Re: Can someone give me a dummy's explanation to horizon line?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikon_Mario View Post
Two general rules about the horizon line:

1. Keep it straight. A horizon that is crooked tends to distract from the scene.
2. Keep out of center for more impact. A "lower than center" horizon will tend to emphasize the sky [or whatever is above the horizon]. A "higher than center" horizon will tend to emphasize the foreground.

Now... someone will surely post that rules are meant to be broken. But you need to understand why the rule(s) exist... and then, if you break them, it is because you understand what the rule intends, and your process of breaking the rule is an intentional decision based on an aspect of composition that you might be trying to emphasize.

For example, taking a picture from a perspective that is intended to create dizziness would be more effective when the horizon is not straight.

Hope that helps.
Well said Mario.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The People's Champion View Post
How can someone else know that you intended to break the rule?

BTW I appreciate you answering my question
If the images are for personal use and you like 'em it shouldn't matter what others think. To be honest I don't think I've ever seen a "landscape" that looks good tilted but if there is something else in the frame like a building, tree, etc that helps with the shot than go for it. Be creative, you are the artist and don't forget to have fun.
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Old November 15th, 2009, 09:44 PM
The People's Champion The People's Champion is offline
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Re: Can someone give me a dummy's explanation to horizon line?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott111184 View Post
Well said Mario.



If the images are for personal use and you like 'em it shouldn't matter what others think. To be honest I don't think I've ever seen a "landscape" that looks good tilted but if there is something else in the frame like a building, tree, etc that helps with the shot than go for it. Be creative, you are the artist and don't forget to have fun.

Very much appreciate the comments. Thanks!
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Old November 15th, 2009, 11:10 PM
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VitaminB VitaminB is offline
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Re: Can someone give me a dummy's explanation to horizon line?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott111184 View Post
If the images are for personal use and you like 'em it shouldn't matter what others think. To be honest I don't think I've ever seen a "landscape" that looks good tilted but if there is something else in the frame like a building, tree, etc that helps with the shot than go for it. Be creative, you are the artist and don't forget to have fun.
While I would agree that a slightly tilted horizon does look un-intentional, and can be distracting, I think tilted horizons could work, and have often tried extreme tilts. Here are a few of mine:
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Old November 15th, 2009, 11:28 PM
The People's Champion The People's Champion is offline
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Re: Can someone give me a dummy's explanation to horizon line?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad V View Post
While I would agree that a slightly tilted horizon does look un-intentional, and can be distracting, I think tilted horizons could work, and have often tried extreme tilts. Here are a few of mine:

Thanks for the examples. Where is the middle one taken at? How does a horizon line apply to portraits of people?
  #8    Top
Old November 16th, 2009, 02:23 PM
JStarkey9 JStarkey9 is offline
Newbie
Re: Can someone give me a dummy's explanation to horizon line?

there are not as many markers for horizons in portraits when you are closeup. I recommend checking some of the Monte Zucker posing books out of your public library and looking at what he did. He often tilted the camera and then printed the image straight up to get the perspective he wanted.

joe
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