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The Visual Toolbox: 60 Lessons for Stronger Photographs by David duChemin

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Lesson 24. Lines: Horizons

As with so much photographic advice, well-meaning but muddle-headed, the best place for the horizon is not only always at the top third or bottom third of the frame. Those are two of so many options, including the option not to include the horizon at all. When we ask, “Where should I put my horizon?” we’re abdicating the responsibility that is the artist’s alone to decide what we’re trying to say and how we want to say it. Yes, putting it on a third might be more interesting. But is that the greatest good we can hope for in our photographs, that they’re simply less boring? If that’s the case, I’m not sure placing the horizon a little higher or lower is going to help much. A boring photograph starts long before we get ...

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