September 9, 2011

BASE Jumper, Spain

Photograph by Xavier Coll Sola, My Shot

This Month in Photo of the Day: Your Photos With Tips From Photographer Catherine Karnow

This picture captures a BASE jumper’s brief moment of freefall, and the expansive view—the ocean, the city far below, the beaches and shoreline, the mountains behind—puts the viewer into the jumper's experience. The key to this photograph is the tilted horizon, which exaggerates the feeling of vertigo and adds to the sense of disorientation and suspension that the photo creates. A tilted horizon line may break a "rule" of photography, but subject matter—not rules—should determine composition.

There’s another detail I love in this shot—the cropped foot. It’s as if the jumper is safely held in place by the top of the frame. But we know that this is false, that he’s in fact held by nothing.

Photo Tip: Break rules of composition, and don’t be afraid to tilt the horizon when the subject matter calls for it.

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