Chase Jarvis tweeted earlier today, “if you can’t take a picture the way you want, it’s probably because you’re playing by the rules”. Now that I’ve shamelessly plugged his blog and Twitter feed, here’s the deal. He is exactly right!
Everyone knows that in landscape photography, its bad form to place the horizon line directly in the center of the frame. If fact, if you open any recently published photography book you’ll find this “rule” cited time and again as a way to prevent beginners from shooting boring landscape images. I’m going to be completely honest here folks. This rule stinks and should be thrown out the window in my (not so) humble opinion.
Here’s a better rule as taught by folks like Moose Peterson. “Regardless of where the horizon is, a good landscape images needs an interesting foreground, middle-ground and background to pull the viewer into the image”. In this image the water is the foreground element, the trees are the middle-ground elements and the hills in the distance and the dramatic sky are the background elements. I framed this image to pull the viewer in from the water to the trees, to the mountains and then to the sky. Notice that the actual horizon is almost dead-center.