Friday, 17 February 2012

Exercise - Positioning the horizon

Subject - Cemetery

For this exercise I had to find a 'viewpoint outdoors that gives you a reasonably interesting landscape in which there is an unbroken and clear horizon' - not as easy as it sounds when you live in a city.  I made the obvious choice, and headed for the cemetery.  It was quite late in the afternoon and there was a slight orange-pink tint to the light.  While there was no direct sunlight on the foreground, the sky and clouds were quite bright, making metering tricky.  I tried to keep the range of images as consistent-looking as possible with regards to exposure, without over or under-exposing those at the book-ends of the sequence.

The first and last of the sequence, as I thought at the time, do not work very well.  This is due to a lack of detail in the foreground in one case, and not enough drama in the clouds in the other case.  By the third image in the sequence, the horizon is positioned one third of the way down the image, and I think the composition is a lot more pleasing.

With the horizon at exactly half way, I think the image is surprising balanced.  While it is possibly 'static' I do find it quite harmonious and I believe this is because the equal proportions of sky to land is mimicking the symmetry in the other axis (between the left and right side of the image).  The next image is my favourite, with the horizon a third of the way up.  We can see more of the cloud formation while placing the detail of the gravestones and trees at a nice level in the frame.

These final two photographs, as I explained before, do not work as well because they are beginning to cut out the detail of the gravestones.

As I was leaving the cemetery I thought to myself: will people mind if I take photos here? Is this private property?  I'm not sure what the answers are, obviously I wouldn't take pictures of anybody while they were visiting, but perhaps someone might mind anyway.  If I ever go again I might try and find a gravedigger someone working there to ask permission.

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