I talked earlier about the many small choices a photographer makes when composing an image and often the first decision you will make is will you shoot the scene in a landscape or portrait orientation.

Now that Instagram has decided it’s ok to post an image beyond a simple square, the issue of portrait vs landscape is a question we can take up, discuss and ultimately come to no conclusions on.

Care to join me?

Even before Instagram made this momentous decision of allowing non square images to be posted, I have been struggling with image orientation. Personally I prefer to shoot my images in portrait mode, this is probably due to so many years photographing the human body. I simply enjoy the long vertical axis of an image. When I am shooting a LEGO mini figure this way I enjoy the vast expanse of empty space that is often left which I like to fill with abstract colors and texture. Unfortunately when posting to this blog I always need to have a few landscape images in my portfolio to use as header images (those images you see at the top of each blog post).

It is amazing how one simple addition to my life, like writing for this blog, has changed the way I view my photography and how I shoot on a daily basis. Whenever I am out on a photo shoot I will continue to shoot in a portrait orientation (generally trying to observe the rule of thirds), but when I see something good going on in my view finder I will quickly change to horizontal mode and grab a few images for use on the blog.

Here is an image I took last month that I am quite fond of. Unfortunately I have yet to decide which rotation I prefer, landscape or portrait.



Heres is another example of how much an image can change with a simple flip of orientation.

Watermarked Photo (2015-09-19-0930)-2


My questions to you are:

  •  When you look through your view finder, or at your LCD screen, do you compose your shot based on the subject?
  • Do you compose your shots based on a preferred orientation?
  • Now that Instagram is allowing images beyond the basic square, are you tempted to upload your images full frame?
  • Do you prefer the square format on Instagram?
  • Do you like to mix it up and keep your audience on its toes?

I hope you will join the discussion and we can drop down this rabbit hole together.

~ xxSJC