Following the recent post by @Christina-NYC, I have some questions.
This post is not about the snapshots where people got their horizon in their photo at a slight angle, because they were holding their camera wrong. This happens to all of us and can easily be corrected in post-production.
This post is about where Local Guides take tilted photos on purpose.
I see lots of photos by Local Guides that are purposely taken in a way that the horizon is at a steep angle. It makes me wonder if this is some sort of fashion that I am missing or why else people would be doing it?
So I did some reading on Non-Google related photography websites and found that most photographers do it for artistic reasons.
1) To make a photo look more "interesting".
2) In some cases, it is done because the framing limitations of a camera prevent them from including something in their shot and thus they adapt the camera position to capture what otherwise would have been cropped by the restrictive rectangle of the camera frame.
In my opinion, the first reason is the same as using artificial filters. A practice that is NOT allowed by the Format Specific Contribution guidelines of Google Maps, if it means the photo is no longer representing reality.
These official photo guidelines state:
I have seen many tilted photos on Maps where the subject matter requires quite some brain processing before you realize that the photo was taken in a tilted manner. After all, a street on a hill is tilted in reality. And then I have seen many photos on Maps where it is obvious, but simply looks silly in my opinion.
Tricking the viewer in thinking other realities have been used by "special effects" departments in Holywood since the beginning of the Moving Pictures. Remember the fun shots where a person on the floor is pretending to be on a wall, by rotating the image? So tilting (rotating) the frame does have an impact on reality even if you have no intention to trick people.
Are there exceptions?
Yes, I think so. However, in most cases, the intent of the photographer is usually very different.
For example, when taking a (close-up) picture of a flower or an animal in a zoo, you may need to hold the camera in an unnatural position, to frame the subject perfectly. In those cases, you are concentrating on getting the best shot of the subject. You were not thinking, let's hold the camera in a diagonal manner because it makes the photo look more interesting. In most of those cases, there is also no horizon that makes the viewer want to tilt their head (as described by @Christina-NYC in her recent article).
- What are your views on pictures with a diagonal horizon?
- Do these rotated horizons belong on Google Maps?
- Should these photos be flagged?
It would be great if a Googler could take away any doubt and I also love to hear your personal opinion as a Local Guide.