IN THE FIELD: A Different Perspective

What’s the most natural way to hold the camera when taking photos? Many folks would agree it’s in the horizontal format. Probably 90 percent of the shots we all take are in the horizontal format. There is nothing wrong with shooting this way, after all, it’s how we see naturally.

Although, there is another way to hold the camera when taking photos, and that’s in the vertical format. In many cases, a composition will work better as a vertical as compared to a horizontal format. Just by changing from one view to the other, the dynamics of a photo can be subtle or significant.

Sure, you can crop a horizontal image and make it a vertical, and sometimes that’s the only option, especially if you didn’t take a vertical shot. But, by cropping, you can only capture a portion of the original image.

When should you take a vertical shot? In my opinion, right after taking a horizontal shot.

Try it and see what a different perspective will do for your photographs.

Neither of these two photos have been cropped. They are straight out of the camera to illustrate the difference between a horizontal and vertical composition.

  1. August 20, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    Great post, David. In addition, if photos are for publication, sometimes verticals are preferred depending how the photo will be need for the magazine, etc.

    • August 21, 2012 at 8:50 am

      Thanks Bob and you are exactly right. Publications do use quite a few vertical shots…sometimes more than horizontals!

  2. August 20, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    Love the flowers and good tip. But how do you feel about photos taken on an angle? That seems to be popular in some portrait shots.

    • August 21, 2012 at 8:52 am

      Thanks T, I really enjoy photos taken on an angle…they are fun, artistic, they show creativity and are not the norm. Honestly…I need to take more shots that way!

  3. August 20, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    This is so beautiful dear David, so beautiful. You are amazing. Thank you, have a nice day, love, nia

    • August 21, 2012 at 8:55 am

      Thanks Nia, I took these photos at the museum gardens a few weeks ago. I’ve been saving them for this post. The folks who work their really take good care of the gardens even with all the summer heat.

  4. August 21, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    Beautiful irises! Good tip, and yes, sometimes I take photos both ways also to see which one I think looks better. Thank goodness for the digital photography making it more affordable to experiment with different settings and orientations.

    • August 22, 2012 at 9:08 am

      Thanks Fergie, Yes, thank goodness for technology and the digital age. I remember always having to keep track of how many shots were left on a roll of film. And how many rolls I had in the camera bag. Then there were the processing fees for good and bad shots alike. Digital sure has changed things and allowed more creativity and experimentation!

  5. August 21, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Beautiful photos and an interesting comparison. I don’t take many vertical photos; might give it more of a try – thanks!

    • August 22, 2012 at 9:10 am

      Thanks Meanderer, with your creative eye, I can only imagine what you will produce. I can’t wait to see!!!

  6. Jo Woolf
    August 22, 2012 at 9:29 am

    They do have a different feel to them – the landscape one is more restful, somehow. Very interesting. Lovely irises, too!

    • August 22, 2012 at 12:52 pm

      I hadn’t thought of it that way…it does seem more restful. I knew there was something about that photo but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Thank you Jo! for pointing that out to me!

  7. August 22, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    Good examples, David. The 2nd photo definitely has more drama (a perfectly BEAUTIFUL capture with great lighting contrast).

    • August 23, 2012 at 12:54 pm

      Thanks John, I took these early one morning a few weeks ago at the local museum before the heat of the day overtook the shade of the trees. I love the color of this variety of Iris.

  8. August 23, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    Wow David, that really demonstrates the difference nicely. I almost never take vertical pictures, because I find it rather unintuitive with my DSLR. However, I just got a new camera which is a twin lens reflex that is made for vertical shots, so I’ll be producing more of those in the near future.

    • August 24, 2012 at 12:20 pm

      Oh good, I can’t wait to see what you produce with the twin lens reflex camera!!!

  9. September 2, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    Great post, David! After discovering several times that I wasn’t able to do the ‘perfect’ vertical crop from a horizontal shot when I wanted or needed to so bad, I learned then to take my shots both ways just in case, and haven’t been disappointed for that reason since. This is such an easy ‘tip’ and everyone will indeed find better success with editing just as you said!

    • September 4, 2012 at 9:16 am

      Thank you Donna! I learned exactly the same thing many moons ago and now, especially since I only shoot digital anymore, it has become second nature. I recall too many times thinking “I wish I shot a vertical” or my wife saying ” do you have a vertical of this shot. I really think it would work better.” “Sorry Honey, I don’t…” Shortly after saying that I get the NCIS head smack.

  10. September 3, 2012 at 11:16 am

    I agree, you can capture a more detailed view when shooting in a vertical position 🙂

  11. September 3, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    Sometimes it will make a major difference in the composition. I often shoot both versions and if one doesn’t work, I just put the other one aside for future use. It sure is a lot less expensive in the digital age than it was in the film days!

  12. September 6, 2012 at 6:08 am

    So beautiful…

    • September 6, 2012 at 9:17 am

      Thank you Naomikko, glad you enjoyed these. I think the spot where they were planted had the perfect growing conditions….and thanks for stopping by!!!

  13. September 6, 2012 at 9:34 am

    The pleasure was mine…I will stop by anytime ,because these pictures are amazing 😀

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