Horizontal or Vertical?

Sometimes you should follow the rules.  Sometimes there are no rules. Sometimes rules are meant to be broken.  How do you know when is the right time to take a horizontal photo or a vertical one?  Here are some pointers to help you figure out which way is right. Don’t worry, it’s easy.

First let’s all agree on one rock solid rule: when taking video always shoot horizontal.   I’ve never seen a reason to shoot video vertical on your iPhone or camera. Remember your TV is horizontal and so should be your videos. If you are still shooting vertical video on your iPad, it’s time to walk away.

Portraits are generally best shot vertical.  Think when you are printing a Word document, you can change the orientation between portrait and landscape – both photography terms for a reason. Vertical (or portrait) frames the face and body for a better composition. Of course there are exceptions to the rule as shown below.


Landscapes are when things get blurry.  Similar to portraits, landscapes are generally best shot horizontal.  It is my personal preference when shooting landscapes.  Think of a mountainscape stretching out in front of you. To get as much of the scene as possible you would need to position your camera horizontal.  But, this is definitely a rule that is meant to be broken. There are plenty of ways to take amazing vertical landscape, and you should certainly try.  Stehekin-12 (427x640)

So here is what I say if you aren’t sure which to use:

  1. Know your rules. How can you be a rebel and break the rules if you don’t even know what the rules are?
  2. Go with your gut. If the rules say one thing, but your gut is telling you different, your gut is probably right.
  3. Change it up.  Try to challenge yourself.  If you normally only take horizontal photos, try to take only vertical ones for a day.  You might find a new perspective.
  4. Just take photos. There really isn’t a right or wrong, except…
  5. Don’t take vertical videos. Ever. Just don’t.

As always, Get Off Auto!  Share with me any of your photos that break the rules! Use #GetOffAutoRebel



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