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Composition: Portrait or landscape?


Composition: Horizontal or vertical?

A particular foremost dilemma in shooting snap is: Should I shoot portrait composition or landscape configuration. This suspicion arises in the premature phase of learning photography. This is not at all a bad question, rather indication that one is learning truly and intriguingly. Portrait composition means photo is vertically shot, where height is more compared to width. Landscape composition contradicts the portrait mode in dimensions. Aspect ratio of photograph depends on ultimate use of photo, category of photography practiced and of course the personal taste. Here I am listing the advantages and preferred use of both the types.

Use of landscape composition:

  • When the width of object is more than height e.g. A car, range of mountains
  • Used for landscape, documentary kind of photography
  • Used when a large space in front of object is to be kept vacant
  • 8 out of 10 photos are shot in landscape mode




Use of portrait composition:

  •  When the height of object is more than width e.g. Close-up portrait, building
  • Used for portraits, book-covers, subject has vertical shape
  • Generally speaking, in outdoor photo shoot, sky forms the major of the background.


Let me remind again, these two formats can be interchanged depending upon the personal taste and there is no fix rule ! As I have demonstrated with a photo, same scenery is shot using both format. Portrait type can be used fr any book cover while landscape mode is usual and obvious shot. Here is one more example of portrait-landscape interchange:


14 comments:

  1. Pretty much informative Post Paresh..I am sure I am learning lot of things here and will learn lot of things by the Time I have DSLR in my hand.. :)
    Thank You.. :D

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    1. My pleasure Harsha. I am sure u wish will come true soon !

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  2. Good, but I think you could have explained a little bit more with it - like compositional patterns, rule of thirds and explanation on placing the object of interest and use of primary or secondary point of interest, opening in the photograph - probably then it would make more sense to people who are really trying to learn.

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    1. Abhra, the points u have suggested to include are important, however I wanted to keep this post straight and simple. Only to discuss about the orientation of the photo. I dont wish complexity here !

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  3. Hey, have you by mistake interchanged the two pictures against their description ? Good post btw, gives an insight which we never really look into.. Keep it up ! :)

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    1. Thanks Nupur for pointing out that ! I am correcting it !

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  4. Paresh, this post of yours is quite informative. Thanks for clearing my confusion regarding portrait and landscape photography :)

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    1. My pleasure that its helpful and cleared the confusion !

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  5. We all just look at pictures and never mind about what they are. Good explanation to understand what these photos mean.

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    1. pleased by those kind words Fayaz ji !

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