Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Portrait mode vs Landscape mode

Image: 5D Mk II, 70-200 f4 IS L, CPL, 3 stop soft GND filter,70 mm @ f16

Image: 5D Mk II, 24-105 f4 IS L, CPL, 3 stop soft GND filter,67 mm @ f16

Shooting landscape or portrait ? Last weekends trip down to the Columbia River Gorge made me think a bit more about this. I now shoot mostly in portrait mode, I just seem to prefer it, some images demand one or the other and some times I like to see an image stretched across two screens. What do pro's do, well if your shooting for a magazine cover you would want to shoot portrait, for a fine art print, you could go either way, for a stitched panorama, I also prefer to shoot 5 portrait mode shots or two landscape mode shots, I think print size plays a big roll also, portrait mode shots, I feel, look better than landscape in sizes at or below 12 x 18, above that either way works for me. So when out shooting try both, see what works for what type of landscape. The lower of the two shots above is one half of a panorama.

Another example:

Images In Light: San Franciscoscapes &emdash; The Bay Bridge H

Images In Light: San Franciscoscapes &emdash; The Bay Bridge V

Ross Murphy Images In Light


  1. I just love your pictures of the Gorge. When I look at them I can actually smell the woods and water. They have that kind of feeling to them. Gives me a real sense of being back in the woods where I grew up.

    As far as portrait/landscape goes, I think the portrait looks better in this case. But for my pictures I tend to prefer landscape, but not for good reasons. I don't do many prints at all, and the landscapes just look better on my monitor because it is wide screen (iMac 24"). Not a good reason I know.

  2. I've noticed that lately I've been addicted to taking shots in portrait mode. You're right, although some pictures do demand it, when I've had the choice I've found myself using portrait. Maybe that's because I hardly ever did before. So now that I've discovered it, I'm subconsciously splurging.

    Great photo. Do you live in the city and go vacationing a lot? Or do you just happen to live close to nature?

  3. Thanks Gregory, whats important to you and the way you see images is what counts and if you only view them now on your monitor, nothing wrong with that, but when you shoot portrait mode it also makes you look a little different at the world and brings new possibilities to your images.

  4. Lee, I live just out side of Seattle, the country to some I suppose, but I get out to the mountains as often as I can, I am lucky to live within a few hours of a lot of mountains, like the Cascades and the Olympics, so I can be there within a few hours and spend a couple of days shooting before heading back home.


Feel free to leave your thoughts.