Allot of times you’ll look at two very similar pictures, and say "Man, the left picture looks great, the right one is nice, but the left – Man I love it". Eight times out of ten, this difference can be explained by something called rules of composition. There are many such rules, (The Rule of Thirds is one known example, but there are many more). The rules of composition are a set of thumb rules to help the photographer rely on experience gathers in many years of art. (I was trying to avoid the whole "breaking the rules" argument, but feel free to comment) One such rule simply says Keep Your Horizon Straight. It’s a simple rule to follow, just make sure your camera is leveled when you take the shot. If you miss that rule, you’ll sometime hear comments about people falling to the side, or having the sea spilled out of the frame – some persons can not resist this remark. Some of the new DSLR models can help you with this task. Nikon’s D80 (or Nikon’s D70) for example can display a grid on the view finder, and you just need to make sure the horizon aligns with that line. There are also some nifty accessories you can attach to your hot shoe mount if you have one, see this nice gizmo from Hakuba for example.
But leveling the horizon can be sometimes tricky. When you take lots of shot, when you don’t have time to aim well or when you don’t have anything to level against. [Read more...]