Project Dividing the Frame

Positioning the horizon

For this exercise I chose an outdoor location looking across from Nairn west beach towards the Black Isle – fortunately it was a clear and sunny day so a distinct horizon could be seen. Different positions were selected to have the horizon at the top of the picture to right at the bottom. For each photo the same settings were used: 90mm focal length at f9.0 and 1/400 sec.

With the horizon at the top this emphasises the foreground with the contrasting beach. Although not the position I would normally have chosen this actually works well.

This shot balances the image into thirds and is possibly the classic division of horizon to foreground although the previous shot is preferred because of the texture of the seaweed on the beach.

With this photo the horizon is more than 50% of the image and tends to overly dominate the scene.

Again in this photo the foreground is practically lost although the ‘big sky’ effect is surprisingly effective (more so than the previous photo).

In this final photo the foreground is lost and the eyes are drawn towards the tanker which is the centre of focus. Again the ‘big sky’ is a dominant feature.

I was surprised by the effect with the positioning of the horizon. With this particular scene you could probably get away with all the images as they portray different effects which is helped by having the tanker present. My preference would be for the first image with the horizon at the top of the photo.


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