Snap Chat. Landscape or Portrait ?

Surfer. Landscape.

I’m going to start posting a regular discussion about photography, and call it Snap Chat.  However, unlike it’s better-known namesake, the posts aren’t going to disappear after a matter of seconds.

I will talk about handy photography tips, stuff I’ve worked out on my own, or something I’m finding challenging.  As I don’t have a lot of time to spend on post-production, I try and take the photograph correctly in the frame without relying on cleaning it up afterward. Of course, it’s not always possible. But I think it’s a good habit.

If you are a frequent reader of our posts, you’ll know that I like taking pictures of people or animals “doing their thing”. One of the bits of constructive criticism I was told recently, is that I take too many pictures in portrait format when I should do it in landscape. I need to give the person space to move within the composition and I need to give them context. The space also provides a story.

Portrait format is more suitable if you only want to capture the object and nothing else.

You can see the difference in the space between the two Hawaiian surfer images. When I was sitting on the beach, the thing that caught my eye was the surfboard pattern. That was what I wanted, and the sea provided the context. The portrait picture includes the horizon and the sky, but doesn’t give a lot of space to the surfboard even though it dominates the composition. What do you think?

One last thing. It is, of course, a rule of thumb. And rules can be broken when you know how to. Besides, it’s in the eye of the beholder. Sometimes there just isn’t a right answer.

Any thoughts on landscape vs portrait?

~ Spotted Cow

Surfer. Portrait.