Monday, 9 November 2009

PROJECT 12: positioning the horizon

I have stalled a little with the projects. Primarily because I've been focussing on the first assignment which has taken me in an altogether other direction. But also because I'm struggling to get motivated to complete all the projects.  However, I do really want to complete all of them, because I know if I start skipping one or two I'll just end up passing over the ones that interest me less.  And for the projects I have done so far I have found that I have learnt something from each and every project whether I think it will interest me or not.  Infact, putting my thoughts down in this log really crystallises my thought process.

So this morning, the weather was heavenly - I particularly love days like today - cold, frosty and a mist rising from the valleys. I took my camera on my school run hoping for a small window of opportunity somewhere en-route.  There are several limitations with the photos from this morning:
i. My normal landscape lens is at the doctors so I've been using my 50mm prime which is not ideal. So unfortunately, all are suffering from lens flare.
ii. I had five minutes
iii. I liked the tree in the picture which then limited me to where the horizon could fall
iv. it is also a fairly mountainous lakeland backdrop and not a particularly clear horizon.

Because of these limitations I will probably revisit this project at some point. However, for now . . .

I have done quite a lot of landscapes in the past and have often favoured the symmetrical placing of the horizon, right bang in the middle.  For me, it offers balance between the land mass and the mass of sky. But I wonder now by looking back at them with new eyes whether these images will look static and lacking dynamism. And would they be improved with an alternative horizon line?  I am quite interested to see how my opinion will change or what I can learn.

Image 1

Image 2

Image 3

I do still like these images and am not sure how they would benefit from other horizon lines.  I am finding it difficult without going back in time to really assess what might have worked better. Mmm, not sure. I guess images 2 and 3 have a foreground which adds a feeling of depth to the image. In image 2, the clouds counter-balance with the stones, however, I could see how other horizons might also work. I also think in image 3 raising the horizon would probably work as the sky is featureless.  However, image 1 is what I am struggling to see what would work differently.  The mirror reflection is such a big part of the image that any other horizon may jarr.  However, the addition of foreground would have helped give a sense of perspective.

So, back to today's images.  This is the out-of-camera image.

Image 4

For the sheer hell of it I have saturated the colours heavily to create a more vivid and unrealistic view of the day.  I don't necessarily prefer it, but thought I'd play anyway.

Image 5
I have taken image 5 in a vertical frame to emphasise the low horizon and give a feeling of space above the tree. Although the sky lacks any characterful clouds the increased saturation does give the tree space to extend it's personality on a plain canvas.

Image 6
Image 6 suffers from heavy lens flare. However, compositionally it offers a high horizon line and more foreground. It changes the character of the image.  The tree is but one feature in the image. The fence and foilage in the foreground competes for your attention and conflicts with the tree.  The tree now appears inaccessible and unreachable.  Perhaps this in some ways adds more symbolism to the image - with a tree free to grow anywhere  within these beautiful surroundings, it is fenced off and in its own captivity!!

Image 7
This offers a horizontal frame with a low horizon line.  I like the space this frame offers and a sense of place for the tree. There is little to distract you from the main point of focus which is the tree.

Image 8

Image 8 offers an alternative image to image 6 with a little more foreground.  However, I don't think the fencing frames the tree or offers any extra information to add value to the image. I think this perhaps is what I have learnt from today's images. The horizon and where it is placed must have been given some thought in terms of the value of what is included in the shot and what is omitted. I'm not sure that I have discovered whether a shot is static or not but suggests I probably need to look in to this a little more.

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