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Landscape or Portrait Format

In photography, landscape format, when the image is wider than it is tall, is perfect for the majority of landscape photographs. However, portrait format creates a picture that is taller than it is wide. When you photograph some nature scenes, it makes sense to rotate the camera 90 degrees.

Rotate the camera when you photograph an object or feature in a scene that is taller than it is wide. Perfect examples are subjects like a tall tree, a waterfall, a tall bird like a heron, or a majestic feature like El Capitan in Yosemite National Park.

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Make a conscious effort to examine what’s in your viewfinder or on your LCD monitor before you take your picture. Slow down for a second and really look at what’s in the viewfinder so you’ll know whether landscape or portrait format makes sense for the picture you’re about to take.

If you take the effort now, soon it will become instinct. You’ll automatically know which format, landscape or portrait, is best before you bring the camera to your eye.

Good photographers don’t settle for a simple snapshot of a scene. When a good photographer sees something worth photographing, he doesn’t just randomly snap the shutter. He first figures out what the picture’s going to portray, and then he puts the viewfinder to his eye and explores what’s in the frame.

If he doesn’t like what he sees in the frame, he moves to a different position or he zooms in or out until what he sees in the viewfinder is close to what he sees in his mind’s eye.

When several tall objects are in a scene, it makes sense to photograph one or a few objects in portrait format, and then photograph the grand scene in landscape format.

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