Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Phil Koch's 'Horizons' Wins by Breaking the Rules

Click above image to see 17 other 'Horizon' photos by Phil Koch.
Can a photographer create his own style and following by breaking one of the basic rules of composition? Phil Koch did.

On Flickr, you can curate galleries of images that feature the work of other photographers you like. There are three unique things about my new Flickr gallery of Phil Koch images: 1) every image was photographed by Phil in Wisconsin, 2) every image is a vertical, and 3) every image has the horizon line almost dead center -- breaking a major rule of composition. Because of Phil's unique composition, he has created a style that is starting to get attention.

"A little over a year ago I bought the Canon 7D with a standard lens," said Phil in a recent interview. "I bought the camera for film [video] making but started shooting rather boring landscapes. I always wanted to try to shoot a good vertical landscape because I have noticed very few do that. So my goal, a little over a year ago now, was to take one good vertical a day, forcing myself to really look at both the sky and what was on the ground in front of me. I call them vertical "Horizons" because I split the photo in half. So many people think I am breaking the basic rule of photography doing this, but if you stand in a field and look at the world in front of you the horizon is always dead center of vision no matter how tall you are. Now blow this image up to say a 20x26 and its as if you are there and can walk into the photo."

Although Koch has only sold a handful of prints so far from the 'Horizons' project, its exposure has resulted in a new assignment to start traveling the country to shoot both photography and video. You can see more of Phil's 'Horizons' work at
(Originally published on August 29, 2011.)


  1. I have the pleasure of knowing Phil personally and I can truly say that his creativity and talent is an inspiration to me....

  2. Phil Koch has great vision through his lens and such a positive outlook on life that it is reflected through his photography. He is a gifted painter of photos and the way he used natural light is awe-inspiring.
    -Ginger B

  3. I love His Photography, and always look forward to what he post's on Facebook each day!! he has made me look through my view finder just a bit differently!! ............

    ~Vanessa Johanning

  4. I have known Phil for 20 years and he has always been a source of inspiration for me. I am always amazed at what he can produce. Stunning!!!

  5. This is so beautiful and pleasing to the soul to look at. I would love the assignment of traveling for such a purpose!

  6. Would LOVE to take a class from you, if ever offered! !