>>> Street Photography eXchange #48 <<<

Started Jun 21, 2013 | Discussions thread
OP xtoph Veteran Member • Posts: 9,871
i see it now
4

Hulamike wrote:

At 10,000 feet on an island in the middle of the Pacific you're able to see the curvature of the planet. What appears to be a crooked horizon line is actually about a 70* swath of this natural view from elevation.

yes, that makes sense. at least, if you assume that the earth is shaped like a cylinder, it does.

i've climbed mountains more than twice as tall as that, and i know what the horizon looks like from elevation, thank you. i know what curvature of the earth looks like. that isn't it. furthermore, a basic understanding of geometry will tell you that when you look out at the rim of a sphere, provided you keep your view level, you will always have a flat, horizontal line across the frame on average. that is, if you do see curvature, you see it curve down the same amount on both sides of the frame. the exception would be if you crop the frame to show only one half of it in the finished picture. but it doesn't seem like that is the case here, and the horizon isn't curved, it is a basically straight line; the left half of a cropped photo in this case wouldn't curve down enough to match the putative right half we are looking at.

but never mind--regardless of what was actually the case in reality (ie, a level horizon), that shouldn't be the final arbiter in the picture. you like to talk about how street photographers shouldn't be 'photocopiers'; i agree, insofar as i understand you. i think the photographer has to take responsibility for the way the finished picture looks. what that means in this case is that if you present your version and insist to people that the slanted horizon is a true representation, at most all you will achieve is to confuse them. otoh, if you level the horizon as you should have done taking the picture, then you have a better chance of engaging them. of course, i am not proposing that no horizon should ever be slanted (check my original post); and contrary to your post below, i didn't ignore the lovely woman's face, rather the contrary. it is simply a question of whether a picture of a lovely woman is enough, and if so, how to present it to best effect.

mike, i am sorry if you feel i am not appreciating this photo as you see it. but what i think is the most helpful thing people can contribute back to other photographers is a specific and grounded point of view on their picture. not everyone's perspective will be interesting or one we agree with, but as long as the person is honest, and is responding to what is actually visible, then it has to be at least a little bit helpful. what i don't think is particularly helpful is for a photographer to insist that they are the only ones who are properly seeing their picture, and everyone else is getting it wrong.

i suggest you take the two example photos i posted above and show them without preamble to some photographer you like and respect, and ask him or her which version they like better. i would be surprised if they pick the slanted version, but maybe they would--i am often wrong about what people will see and respond to. but if i am not wrong, then i hope you can reconsider your response and think about what you want to get out of sharing your work. not that you should make your art contingent on how other people, least of all me, respond to it, but because vision is inescapably a social thing, and i think it behooves visual artists to continually question what is going on visually in their work.

i hope to see you post more photos and responses to photos in spx-- i welcome all variety of participants here.

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