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Keep your eye on the horizon

Thinking about where your horizon will appear in the frame, and how your subject might interact with it, is vital when shooting landscapes.

When taking pictures with a subject in the foreground, always make sure to check the alignment of the subject with the horizon, or any other lines in the background. It cannot be stressed enough how important it is that the horizon is in fact horizontal. This is something that can be fixed with cropping, but it’s much better to just try and get it right when you take the picture.

Tilted horizons

Tilted horizons are most likely to occur when you’re caught up trying to capture something that’s moving around. When you have a horizon that tilts, you have to crop the image when you straighten it during postproduction. This is especially problematic when the subject takes up most of the frame—you might find that you have to discard some really great shots of because they no longer look so amazing when hands, feet, ears, or any other critical features, have been cropped away.
horizon An extremely tilted horizon

Choosing your vantage point

You can see from the two photo beneath that shooting from a low vantage point is far more effective for bringing out the subject, which otherwise blends in with the background. This is particularly important when shooting with a small aperture, where both the background and foreground are in focus.

Shooting downward is unlikely to work well unless you happen to be very high up and are photographing a scene that is literally below you.
Shot from the highest point of a very twisty stretch of road on the east coast of Iceland. Shot from the highest point of a very twisty stretch of road on the east coast of Iceland.
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Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir

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