Parts 3) Significant Horizontals
I've been plagued by horizontals all the time I've been taking photos, as an artist or designer it isn't a problem, one simply doesn't include them. Unfortunately the real world is full of unreasonable horizons, walls, buildings roadways and the like, all waiting to drag ones eyes off to the edge of the frame. I've taken lots like this, I got the curved fence line and the dark line of the wall to pull the eye right to the middle of the frame ... only to have it run off to the left or right along the horizon line.
... any horizontal feature in the centre tends to bounce the eye from left to right, and stops it exploring round the rest of the frame
... however, if one moves it down the scene the eye will explore the larger space and give more attention to the sky
... moved up the opposite happens
So knowing what you want to say can effect framing, or cropping if one gets it wrong, and produce quite different results with fairly minor changes in framing, allowing one to control what the viewer will find most interesting in the print
The same effect seems not to occur vertically to the same extent
A similar feature vertically while looking quirky doesn’t stop the eye exploring both sides of the image.
I'm probably stating the obvious, but I see so few people doing it I thought it was worth mentioning.
If you have a subject in the foreground and take your shot with the camera at the same height, the horizon ends up in the middle, like I said obviously. If one stands on an upturned bucket or sit on it, the horizon moves up or down in relation to the subject, like I said obvious, but useful sometimes.
Or the rule of “any group of three or more similar objects in the same place is worth blowing a few frames on”
Part 4) Patterns (the Gestalt principles of Proximity, Similarity, Continuation and Common Fate all rolled together)
We humans love to find symmetry and patterns, the brain will organise them be attracted by them gets satisfaction looking at them, from ancient Greeks organising stars into groups to William Morris wallpaper still selling well in B&Q after more than a century we love patterns it seems.
Now; pattern, and 2D surface design is my specialist field: but I’ll spare you that, so;
Any objects in a regular repeat will form a strong visual bond, this pattern is so strong if one relaxes the eyes a little a set of phantom tiles are visible as the brain tries to see a check rather than a straight repeat, of little use but demonstrates how strong the effect can be.
Any deviation in either repeat
... or form is also immediately seized on by the eye as being more significant
Even with large sections removed, it retains its integrity as a single unit, in fact
If it is distorted the brain would rather add in another dimension, depth, than not see the regularity
... even when that distortion isn’t the normal perspectives projection
The effect starts with as few as three objects
... and most of the effects still work even when distorted
... the practical upshot of all this bunk is that anywhere where there are patterns or repetition, from aqueducts on the outskirts of Rome to a picket fence round ones garden is worth a second look because there is always an audience ready to be tricked into thinking you’re really good when it is in fact just their perception that’s bloody clever.
The eastern aesthetic