Did you know that the way in which you orient your camera can have a huge impact on the look and feel of your landscapes? Often times, the objective of a landscape is to highlight a specific landform or human-made structure.
In other words, the focal point of your image could be anything from a towering skyscraper to a sprawling canyon. Therefore, it’s important for photographers to consider what it is that they’d like to accentuate and create a complementary composition.
Consider mountains as a classic example of how different perspectives can lend themselves to a photograph. Take a look at the images included below
Many people are naturally inclined to shoot landscapes horizontally. In fact, the term “landscape” has become synonymous with photographs oriented horizontally.
In this case, holding the camera horizontally allowed the photographer to capture a large section of the mountain range in her image. However, this is not the only “right” solution to photographing this particular subject.
Image by Sabrina Ripke Fotografie
In contrast, this image, oriented vertically, puts the emphasis entirely on something else (despite the subject matter being very similar). This composition forces the viewer to focus on the height of a single peak rather than the vast area taken up by the mountain range.
Image by MaxxMcgee
When push comes to shove, there is no right or wrong way to take a landscape. In fact, often times it’s helpful for photographers to take images of a subject of interest from both vantage points. However, it’s important to consider the power perspective has, on the look of an image. Often times, the tradition of shooting a landscape horizontally will create stunning results.
However, if you’re photographing a subject that might lend itself well to vertical orientation – like a tall tree, cascading waterfall, or a colorful sky – you may just want to consider switching things up.
For more incredibly useful landscape photography tips that take things a lot further than our Bite Size Tips series, take a look at Kent DuFault's Landsacape Photography Guide.