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  #1  
Old August 15th, 2011, 01:24 AM
Dawid Loubser Dawid Loubser is offline
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Default Breaking Rules and making it in photography! Show what you have done!

Photographs can get negative reactions when we break so-called "rules! But is it always appropriate to obey them?





[I](Ilford FP4+ 6x7cm, Mamiya RB67, Sekor-C 50mm f/4.5)[/I]


Dawid Loubser posted the above B&W photograph with a dramatic slope. I wondered "How did that great angle come about?" Then, below, Fahim raises the question of sloping horizons and breaking the rules. Well, we can learn a lot sharing examples where a picture works despite or even because of breaking the rules.

Let's find pictures that work despite our trespasses! Would it be as good otherwise? Do they work despite or because of "going against the rules". So that's the challenge! Good hunting! ADK


Quote:
Originally Posted by fahim mohammed View Post
I have grappled with tilted horizons. Are they effective? Always or sometimes? Where, when?
I think a tilted horizon brings dynamics to a static image. But, for me, the question remains when is a tilted horizon most effective and when not?

I do not know the answer but I think it is quite effective in your fourth image.


I very rarely tilt horizons, and when I do so, I like to think it's always purposeful. My only other example I have is from 2007,

Divisions of faith

(APS-H digital, Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L)

(This was an experiment to try and create harmony when doing everything "wrong": out-of-focus foreground (f/2.8, 200mm), tilted horizon, shot straight into the sun, etc.)

http://fc02.deviantart.net/fs22/f/20...atographer.jpg

Last edited by Asher Kelman; August 18th, 2011 at 06:10 AM.
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  #2  
Old August 16th, 2011, 11:19 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawid Loubser View Post
Hi Fahim,

I shoot 35mm, MF and LF film as and when appropriate (and often when not appropriate!). Each format certainly has its merits. If a medium-format RB67 wasn't so darn bulky, though, i'd chuck the others and just shoot it :-) The LF camera is, on the other hand, a total submission to ridiculous size/weight, and being tripod-bound - may as well go all the way, for the images it makes possible.

In the darkroom, I often still chuckle to myself when I see the huge negatives - it's another world.



I very rarely tilt horizons, and when I do so, I like to think it's always purposeful. My only other example I have is from 2007 (sorry, in colour, hijacking a B&W thread!):

Divisions of faith

(APS-H digital, Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L)

(This was an experiment to try and create harmony when doing everything "wrong": out-of-focus foreground (f/2.8, 200mm), tilted horizon, shot straight into the sun, etc.)

http://fc02.deviantart.net/fs22/f/20...atographer.jpg


I'm fine with this, Dawid! This shows rules can be broken but how do we deal with the result. Yes, it's interesting and more so than a pretty sunset. We'd need more of this ilk to see how it works out. As a one off, one has a harder time of placing it in some evaluative scale, but if were a true scholar and genius, I could do better.

Asher
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  #3  
Old August 17th, 2011, 12:13 AM
Jerome Marot Jerome Marot is offline
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I prefer the first picture to the second. To me, the first picture does not look as if the horizon was tilted but could have been of a slope or mountain. Tree sometimes do not grow straight on windy slopes. It is only by looking at details (bushes growth), that one can conclude that the frame is deliberately tilted.

The color picture does not work very well for me. The horizon is obviously tilted, and I see no reason why. It is possible to take a picture with the horizon tilted but, in my opinion, the reason must be obvious or the viewer will think it is just accident.

I don't have a better example at hand, but this picture of mine is taken with the camera tilted, but I wanted to compose elements in the frame so the reason is, at least in my eyes, obvious:

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Old August 17th, 2011, 12:43 AM
Dawid Loubser Dawid Loubser is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerome Marot View Post
The color picture does not work very well for me. The horizon is obviously tilted, and I see no reason why.
Ah, but the reason was obvious to me - It was to create a perfect symmetry along the horisontal axis, .e. between the foreground and the background...
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  #5  
Old August 17th, 2011, 12:51 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawid Loubser View Post

Divisions of faith

(APS-H digital, Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L)

(This was an experiment to try and create harmony when doing everything "wrong": out-of-focus foreground (f/2.8, 200mm), tilted horizon, shot straight into the sun, etc.)

http://fc02.deviantart.net/fs22/f/20...atographer.jpg
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerome Marot View Post

The color picture does not work very well for me. The horizon is obviously tilted, and I see no reason why. It is possible to take a picture with the horizon tilted but, in my opinion, the reason must be obvious or the viewer will think it is just accident.
Jerome,

I had another take on Dawid's drunk picture. Because the image is tilted, the immediate clues to identify the pyramidal shapes as "waves and water" and not "mountains and rocks" are gone. The tilt creates a temporary dystopia where we're now no longer quite sure of the planet! So there can be something in this beyond the obvious reality that the horizon is crooked. Once again, with thematic issues or motifs, we need more than one picture to allow us to conclude which sort of interpretation to assign here: clumsiness or inspired technique!

I'm not saying that it's good, just that this image jolts us to think of other possibilities.

Asher
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  #6  
Old August 17th, 2011, 12:53 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawid Loubser View Post
Ah, but the reason was obvious to me - It was to create a perfect symmetry along the horisontal axis, .e. between the foreground and the background...
and, the consequence of that is my current state of mind! I blame you!
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  #7  
Old August 17th, 2011, 12:56 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerome Marot View Post

I don't have a better example at hand, but this picture of mine is taken with the camera tilted, but I wanted to compose elements in the frame so the reason is, at least in my eyes, obvious:

Jerome,

The tilted horizon does not immediately announce itself here! The red of the metal the curve and the three black "fingers" take all our attention. So it seems to me that, to work best, the horizon is best not the most strongly defined element. I wonder if that's true generally.

Asher
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  #8  
Old August 17th, 2011, 05:14 AM
Jerome Marot Jerome Marot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawid Loubser View Post
Ah, but the reason was obvious to me - It was to create a perfect symmetry along the horisontal axis, .e. between the foreground and the background...
Now that you said it, it is obvious to me and I am not able to see the picture again as I used to see it before.
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  #9  
Old August 17th, 2011, 07:32 AM
Winston Mitchell Winston Mitchell is offline
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I remember having a tough time composing this in the few moments available. The image needed some sort of reference. I finally decided to use the top of the frame as a the anchor.





©Winston C. Mitchell


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  #10  
Old August 17th, 2011, 11:09 AM
Ben Rubinstein Ben Rubinstein is offline
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Loch Tay, 2am, 2002


Horizon dead center, tut tut. Works for me though...
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  #11  
Old August 17th, 2011, 01:18 PM
Jerome Marot Jerome Marot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Winston Mitchell View Post
I finally decided to use the top of the frame as a the anchor.
Indeed that works.
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  #12  
Old August 17th, 2011, 01:22 PM
Jerome Marot Jerome Marot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
Horizon dead center, tut tut. Works for me though...
It works for me as well, but here again we have an obvious reason for breaking the rule: the shape of the poles in the water.
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  #13  
Old August 17th, 2011, 02:25 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Winston Mitchell View Post
I remember having a tough time composing this in the few moments available. The image needed some sort of reference. I finally decided to use the top of the frame as a the anchor.





©Winston C. Mitchell


Winston,

This is an excellent image for the series and the way it works is a little puzzle.

"The image needed some sort of reference. I finally decided to use the top of the frame as a the anchor."

Well, it can't be just the top of the frame. Rather you have several major show-stopper "blobs"/masses which get attention. You have successfully linked these to the top frame as their upper borders are almost parallel to the top border. So then the picture is anchored successfully.

Asher
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  #14  
Old August 17th, 2011, 10:03 PM
Ruben Alfu Ruben Alfu is offline
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I'm against the notion of compositional rules, whatever works, works! Here's another wrong horizon.






Ruben Alfu : Dead trunks

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  #15  
Old August 17th, 2011, 11:28 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruben Alfu View Post
I'm against the notion of compositional rules, whatever works, works! Here's another wrong horizon.






Ruben Alfu : Dead trunks

Excellent example! This is such a strong image. The base of the wood columns relating to the lower border of the frame, is the organizing structure in our orientation of the picture. This appears to be the inverse of Winston's picture where that organization occurs on the top border.






©Winston C. Mitchell



So this might mean that we can get an equally strong and meaningful image where the top or bottom border is made the horizon, or horizontal line of reference for our orientation. We'll have to see if this works in other images too. I wonder if such anchoring, where the true horizon is ignored can be on the sides and work as well as in Winston's and your examples.

Asher
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  #16  
Old August 18th, 2011, 01:00 AM
Maris Rusis Maris Rusis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruben Alfu View Post
I'm against the notion of compositional rules, whatever works, works! Here's another wrong horizon.






Ruben Alfu : Dead trunks

There is a thrill in looking at a rule broken, a horizon tilted, and I wonder if that thrill is akin to a vicarious buzz when witnessing an act of vandalism. Actually turning the world on its head is a valuable artistic trope that causes us to question previously untested certainties.

I do confess to enjoying Ruben Alfu's Dead Trunks but the joy comes not from the picture, anything iconocastic would do, but from Ruben Alfu's delightful audacity.
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  #17  
Old August 18th, 2011, 06:15 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Default Breaking Rules and making it in photography! Show what you have done!

Maris,

I love your explanation of why it works so well: audacity! The thrill of turning things upside down!

Asher
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  #18  
Old August 18th, 2011, 09:39 AM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Default Scotland...

Here's something so different. The use of an oversized black border is hardly ever able to help a picture's presentation. More often than not, the black border constrains the image and makes it unable to spread its influence to the surrounding white space on the wall where it's displayed. So why does this transgression work so well? ADK




Fahm Mohammed: Untitled

Austria





This is for comment here.

Thanks Fahim!



Now look at the following picture. Does this black border work in the same way?




Casey Herd: Untitled

Austra





Thanks Casey!
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  #19  
Old August 18th, 2011, 11:02 AM
Mark Hampton Mark Hampton is offline
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hi,hi.

nice thread with some images I like - that work - some that try - these are more intreasting - photography can be increably anal - the sense of play get lost... i will add a few - some parts work - toghter they may be stronger ... they are parts of whole... they were made with a film camera and scanned - then worked into what you see below... a personal story












a.away.week - M Hampton

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  #20  
Old August 18th, 2011, 11:34 AM
Mike Shimwell Mike Shimwell is offline
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Dawid, I understood and liked your colour picture immensely. Perhaps the mathematician in me?

Winston, craking picture. Breaking the rules requires either thought or intuition I suspect. There again, I don't think of the rules when taking pictures anyway

Mike


A monchrome rainbow


Shooting directly at the sun
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  #21  
Old August 18th, 2011, 12:03 PM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruben Alfu View Post
I'm against the notion of compositional rules, whatever works, works! Here's another wrong horizon.






Ruben Alfu : Dead trunks

Well said and superbly illustrated.

Best.
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  #22  
Old August 18th, 2011, 12:10 PM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Mark, Mike...

I likeMark's series and even on their own each one is a personal pov.

Mike, and why not a mono rainbow!. Shooting into the sun has me looking at what is below.

Regards.
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  #23  
Old August 18th, 2011, 12:38 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Shimwell View Post
Dawid, I understood and liked your colour picture immensely. Perhaps the mathematician in me?

Winston, craking picture. Breaking the rules requires either thought or intuition I suspect. There again, I don't think of the rules when taking pictures anyway

Mike


A monchrome rainbow


Mike,

Amazing! I see this in color! I saw the greyscale but the edges of the rainbow were are in color to me. That shows how we fill n the gaps of what s shown and it's not necessary to complete everything. As with Ben's picture, above, you centered the horizon, a "no no"! I wonder whether "openng up" the tones on the bench would strengthen the mage?

Asher

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Last edited by Asher Kelman; August 18th, 2011 at 05:24 PM.
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  #24  
Old August 18th, 2011, 07:09 PM
Ruben Alfu Ruben Alfu is offline
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I don't want to interrupt the flow of "forajido" photos going on here, so just a brief but sincere thanks to Asher, Maris, and Fahim for your kindness.

Regards,

Ruben
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