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Purposeful Horizon Placement

Purposeful Horizon Placement

Did you know that where you place the horizon within your photo can have a dramatic effect on the feeling of your photos?

You see, it’s our job as photographers to take photos of something, however, it goes deeper than that. It is our job to take photos about something and tell interesting stories with each photo we capture.

What do I mean?

We are telling stories with our images, stories about the interesting things we see. If we snap away without any thought to the story, then we are likely missing an opportunity to create a stronger photo by telling a more relevant story.

Horizon placement can help us tell more relevant, more interesting stories.

Let’s look at 3 examples, 3 different compositions of an iconic Australian location, Uluru in the Red Centre.

In the first example below we have roughly 2/3 foreground to 1/3 sky – this composition tends to accentuate depth in our photos as the viewer can take the journey from the close details in the foreground all the way back to the main subject, Uluru.


Notice the sense of depth when compared to the other versions. Almost inviting us to walk into the frame.

In the second example, the ratios are reversed and we now have roughly 2/3 sky to 1/3 foreground. With more sky, this composition tends to communicate a sense of open space, whilst still allowing our viewer to journey from front to back.


Finally, if we go for a contemporary composition with mostly sky and almost no foreground this composition is likely to really strongly emphasise the wide open spaces of outback Australia.

I really wanted to communicate the sense of space and the dominance that Uluru holds on the landscape and for that reason, I chose the composition below as my favourite. 

What do you think?


Of course, it’s up to us as the storytellers to decide which composition best suits the story we are trying to tell!

Once a year I take a Photo Tour to the Red Centre of Australia, email me for more details if you are interested in joining us sometime 🙂

How many mind-blowing photos are on your hard-drive just waiting to be transformed???? Even worse, how many have already been deleted? Let’s not dwell on the past, imagine how many incredible photos we can make in the future!!!

Feel free to email me at adam@easywayphotography.com if you have any questions

Take care


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