Monday, 15 November 2010

The Frame: Project - Dividing the frame

Exercise: Positioning the horizon

Aim:  The aim of this exercise is to explore the impact of dividing an image using the horizon, placing it in different parts of the frame.

Plan: I needed a viewpoint that gave a continuous horizon so I chose a place I've been to many times but never with my camera.

Results:  I picked a sunny day but the scene I had chosen had a band of cloud so I had 4 distinct bands in the image; blue sky, cloud, urbanisation and a field in the foreground.  I Started by placing the horizon towards the bottom of the frame.  This makes the sky more dominant which would be fine if the sky was more interesting in this picture.  As there is a wide expanse of blue sky this is not ideal.  However, an interesting effect is created by splitting the lower half equally between field, urban and cloud with the blue sky occupying the entire top half.  

F13, 1/200 sec
Putting the horizon in the middle of the frame would normally be flat but the band of cloud adds a dimension creating an artificial horizon further up the frame.  If this were all blue sky then the image would be very flat.  This asks the question 'is the cloud line more or, at least, equally as important as the horizon?'.  I think this demonstrates that any distinct line in an image has some influence or importance (good or bad).

F13, 1/200 sec
Putting the horizon in the top third of the frame gives a  more interesting image but highlights the lack of foreground interest.  Comparing the next two images, adding foreground interest using the tractor tracks leading into the frame creates a further dimension to the image.

F13, 1/200 sec

F13, 1/100 sec
For this final image I moved the horizon to the top of the frame.  This has the effect of making the foreground the main focal point whilst the horizon loses all importance.  Also lost is the element created by the blue sky which has been removed, leaving the viewer to assume a more generally overcast sky.

F10, 1/125 sec
Learning points:
All elements of the image have some influence depending on their positioning (either naturally or by the photographer).  This exercise was about positioning the horizon but this depends on what the eye considers to be the natural division in the image.

One of the issues I have is with my cameras viewfinder.  It is 95% and I therefore don't necessarily get the frame I want.  This usually involves some minor cropping but was more noticable and a continual issue in this exercise because of the precise placement of the horizon.  There is also some barrelling at the wide angle shown by the curve of the horizon which changes from top to bottom.

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