There’s a big difference between a horizontal line and a vertical one. The first opens up unlimited space, symbolising freedom and lightness; vertical lines are barriers that do the opposite. A new exhibition at the Annandele Galleries, Sydney, shows Murray Fredericks’ confrontations with one of these, open space.

Most famously, he made a series of photographs from Lake Eyre, Southern Australia, that he called Salt. Now he shows more horizons from the Greenland ice sheet.

You can calculate the distance to the horizon from an observer, if you ignore the effect of refraction by the atmosphere.

The equation is d≈3.57h‾‾√, where d is in kilometres and h is height above ground level in metres.

So, for a 1.7m tall observer the horizon is at a distance of 4.7 kilometres. If the observer is 2m tall, the horizon is 5km away. For an observer standing on a 100m hill, the horizon is at a distance of 36 kilometres. From the top of Mount Everest (8,848 metres) it is at a distance of 336 kilometres.

Sometimes you need help to distinguish photographs from paintings.

(thanks to S Howden, BBC, Sydney; painting by Albert Williamson)

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