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25 Oct 2021

Portrait Orientation

Portrait Orientation
Portrait orientation is the one in which the longer sides of the rectangle are vertical. It’s named this way because this is generally the orientation that people choose when taking a portrait, or a photograph of a person. That’s because people are taller than they are wide - both in the face and in the body, so a vertical orientation is the most logical way to fit a person in a frame. This will look most natural, balanced, and pleasing to the eye.

Landscape vs Portrait Orientation

One of the most basic concepts in photography is the orientation of the frame. When taking any photo, this will be one of the first choices you’ll make: whether to shoot in landscape or portrait. This article will guide you on everything you need to know about landscape and portrait orientation. portrait vs landscape

What Is Portrait and Landscape Mode?

When you think about a photo frame, what is its basic shape? More often than not, a photo will be shaped like a rectangle, with one side longer than the other. This is the automatic setting in nearly every camera you will photograph with, including the one in your phone and more expensive, high-quality cameras.

Because that is the case, there are two possible orientations of any given photograph: wider on the bottom and narrower on the sides or narrower on the bottom and taller on the sides.

In fact, this applies to more than just photographs. The terminology of landscape v portrait orientation applies to the pages you print and the monitors you work and watch TV on, too.

What is Portrait?

Portrait orientation is the one in which the longer sides of the rectangle are vertical. It’s named this way because this is generally the orientation that people choose when taking a portrait, or a photograph of a person. That’s because people are taller than they are wide - both in the face and in the body, so a vertical orientation is the most logical way to fit a person in a frame. This will look most natural, balanced, and pleasing to the eye.

Which Way Is Landscape?

The other, horizontal orientation, in which the long sides of the rectangle are at the top and the bottom, is called landscape. This is because - you guessed it - landscapes, or outdoor photographs - are generally shot this way. Again, this tends to make for the most natural, balanced compositions, as everything is laid out nicely without too much sky or ground in the frame.

How to Choose a Photo Orientation

Naturally, there’s no rule saying you have to shoot a portrait in portrait orientation or a landscape in landscape orientation. Photography is an art, not a science; there are no hard and fast rules. It’s ultimately the photographer’s judgment call to make.

And, of course, you’re probably going to photograph more than just people and outdoor scenery, and you’ll still have to decide which orientation to use. So how do you do so?

Generally speaking, when the subject of your photo is wider than it is tall, you’ll choose landscape, and vice versa. But, again, the choice is ultimately entirely up to you. Depending on the impression you want to create and the effect you want to achieve, you can do whatever best serves your vision. And, of course, if you’re not sure, you can always try both and make the call on the spot based on what looks best to you. That’s how you’ll develop your eye and eventually an intuition to make this choice without even having to think about it.