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Monday, 10 December 2012


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Hmmm. Landscapes? Indoor shots? Clouds? A wee bit more precision required, methinks.

Crikey! I hope I don't sound flippant, but for someone who's been getting a lot of advice to take it easy.....

Seems almost negligent to discuss "horizonless" photographs and not mention the late Joe Deal's early work.

Even those Apollo "moon landing" photos had a horizon, right ?

What if the horizon is crooked? That's a particular speciality of mine :-)

Mike, would you care do define "horizonless" photo? A photo without sky, or with, but horizon line invisible due to, say, distant fog? Or bird's eye perspective?

Hey, Mr. Johnson, some of us are just short, OK? There ain't no horizon down here...


Hey, no fair asking what Mike meant!

(Meaning, I already picked my three and sent them in.)

I agree--Mike Chisholm had better submit something! When you posted Porter’s image of the redbuds (I almost fainted when I saw that gorgeous thing—thank you for showing it to us), I thought immediately of Mike’s work. Like no one else I know, Mike manages to take the overlooked and seemingly mundane little corners of his world and utterly transform them into subtle, sublime rectangles (or squares) of beauty with his attention to light, shadow, texture, shape and color. My favorite images of his (and those are way too numerous to count or reference) are ones that create a sort of abstraction with all of the supporting elements arranged beautifully and flattened into 2-D space. With just a shift of focus, one can switch from enjoying the abstractness to studying the actual objects/vegetation/buildings, etc., which are interesting in their own right. His horizonless landscapes are some of my favorites.

I have to admit that when I first looked at Mike’s website, I didn’t fully appreciate his images. It didn’t take long, though, for me to get those familiar goosebumps that come when I’ve managed to look at enough of someone’s work to suddenly “get” what they are about and to start enjoying each image more deeply in the context of all the others. Mike Chisholm’s stuff is the perfect antidote when I get thoroughly bored and annoyed by looking at images on sites like Photo.net (everyone trying *so* hard to produce the same slick images of the same subjects, or veering into over-the-top drama). His pictures have such a deliciously refreshing, unforced and "natural" feeling about them, yet I know how carefully he must work to create his images. (I don't think it's possible to develop such a repeatable and identifiable style without having a deliberate approach and guiding aesthetic.)

Oh, and his writing is just as entertaining as his photography (http://idiotic-hat.blogspot.com). Thanks, Mike, for introducing me to his blog via TOP back in 2008.

Oops, sorry to ramble on and I hope I didn't stray too far off topic. I hope Mike Chisholm does send in a few of his horizonless pictures in response to your post.

I interpreted horizonless to mean intimate landscape which is most of Eliot Porter's work.


Well, it is kind of horizonless.

Don't forget Frederick Sommer, who created some amazing horizonless meditations. I saw an interview with him on the interwebs (lost the link, but should be findable) in which he said he started doing them because the Kodak film he had had flaws that could be hidden in printing if there were no skies.

I once knew a fine American Indian artist, George Morrison, whose art was about almost nothing BUT the horizon. Interesting stuff, too.

Kazi Ushioda's image is amazing.

It's interesting how other people have interpreted the "no horizon" guideline. I took a hardline view with my own (rather poor) submissions, omitting even false horizons like waterlines and treelines, and really wish I hadn't now...

A (very pleasant) cat photo on TOP! Whatever next?

At first I looked through some shots that looked down (common for me) and some of enclosed spaces, but then I ran across a selection that looked up, and realised that a horizon is where up and down meet, so without that joint I was OK. So here's a "flat" space image for you. And one that defies all notions of sharpness too. ;-)

Won't quibble over criteria, but I really liked the first batch, and I usually HATE cat pictures.

Ooh, that Tim Parkin reflection shot really grabbed me. Wonderful!

Since you ask, I count 19 so far :-). But they're worth looking at, I don't feel "cheated" that I'm getting more than 13.

Thanks Mike,
You've picked a great selection of interpretations.
That one by Ed Cornachio does weird things to my head.
best wishes phil

How come there's no "Like" buttons on this gol'fang'dan'd site?!?

All marvelous images--great idea!

Should make these regular series and allow voting

Wow. A lot of "I'm not worthy" inducing shots here. Nice work all around.

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