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JeroenM Level 7
Level 7

Diagonal Horizon - Good or Bad?

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:

  • Content that makes it difficult for others to understand the environment you’re sharing may be rejected.
  • Examples are excessively dark or blurry images, significantly rotated compositions, and use of filters that dramatically alter the representation of the place.

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.

19 comments
NeerajKumarIndia Level 10
Level 10

Re: Diagonal Horizon - Good or Bad?

Yes, It not Worths as it somehow change the original flavour. I earlier used to hide only but leaved when you guided about same. According to my opinion it is bad for GMaps as Artificial will also guided by it. Thank you @JeroenM Ji....

Shrut19 Level 10
Level 10

Re: Diagonal Horizon - Good or Bad?

Namskar..

@JeroenM

Nice post..

Thanks for Sharing..

Regards From Mumbai..

Danuta Level 7
Level 7

Dot.: Diagonal Horizon - Good or Bad?

@JeroenM bardzo cenna uwaga 😊 Zdjęcia w mapach to dokumenty, powinny być czytelne.Pozdrawiam

LuaPL Level 8
Level 8

Re: Diagonal Horizon - Good or Bad?

I agree with you @JeroenM. 

We must show reality, not artistic photos, so I am not showing it as it is,

I must turn the image to see reality in front.
Greetings.

LuaPL
Shrut19 Level 10
Level 10

Re: Diagonal Horizon - Good or Bad?

Namskar..

@LuaPL

& @JeroenM

 

LuaPL..

Yes your Right..

Same here..

As you say "We must show reality, not artistic photos, so I am showing it as it is"

My All most posted photo is as it is, not edited, no matter which Camara or Smartphone we Use..

 

Regards From Mumbai..

JeroenM Level 7
Level 7

Re: Diagonal Horizon - Good or Bad?

Thank you @NeerajKumarIndia@Shrut19 , @Danuta and @LuaPL for your kind responses and participation in this discussion.

Google Moderator
Google Moderator

Re: Diagonal Horizon - Good or Bad?

Hi @JeroenM,

 

You've started a very interesting topic. I would like to share an older but very good topic: How to Upload Great Photos to Google Maps. Our photos along with reviews can help others to take faster better decisions!

Due to the volume of private messages Googlers receive, I do not read or respond to private messages. Please post publicly so others may benefit from your discussion. If you require urgent assistance, please tag a Google Moderator. Thank you!

JeroenM Level 7
Level 7

Re: Diagonal Horizon - Good or Bad?

Thank you @VasT for your response and recommendation for another great post.
As a Googler, you did not answer my question though...

What is the correct interpretation of the official Google Maps Format Specific Contribution Guidelines in relation to photos with an horizon at a 45-degree angle?

Please guide us.

Highlighted
Googler
Googler

Re: Diagonal Horizon - Good or Bad?

Thank you for your post @JeroenM

We love to see the range of photographic style and creative perspective in the images Local Guides share on Google Maps. The Stylistic Adjustments within the Maps User Contributed Content Policy is important to use as a general guideline in deciding what photos are best to share. Viewers of a photo shared on Google Maps should immediately understand what they are looking at—regardless if the image is of a plate of food,  landscape, or a building. Sometimes an extremely tilted or rotated photo of a landscape or building can greatly alter the scene and does not represent the place. This is where a camera grid can help keep a horizon level straight, or help make a building not look like it is falling over. There are times when getting the best shot of a subject does involve putting your camera at angle, such as the examples you shared of photographing a flower or animal at the zoo. Regardless of the angle or perspective, the subject matter or environment of a place should be easily understood by one looking at the photo.