Required Shooting: Verticals and Horizontals

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Same subject from the same camera position but a different shot.

I’m a firm believer in exhausting all my photographic possibilities before leaving any subject. This helps assure I come home with the best possible images rather than wishing I had done something different when viewing the images on my computer. I’ve learned that time wisely spent in the field saves on a lot of, “If I only...” situations. One of the ways I cover all my bases is by shooting every subject both as a vertical and horizontal. With only a few minor adjustments in camera position and/or by zooming my lens, I come back with two shots instead of one.

Learn to look at everything you photograph in diverse ways. The more possibilities with which you approach all subjects, the greater the potential of accumulating more winners. Just because a subject stands vertically doesn't mean the picture has to be shot that way to be successful. Don’t limit yourself to just verticals vs. horizontals. Also shoot the same subject with both a telephoto and wide angle. Zoom in to isolate portions and go wide to tell a story.

To create compositional balance of a vertical subject shot in a horizontal format requires some fine tuning. The good news is it comes more easily with practice. Developing your eye and careful seeing are the key components to getting both versions right. Look for compositional elements that achieve balance to make the image work. Don’t be afraid to walk back and forth in front of the subject until all the compositional pieces fall into place. Study it by spending a few extra moments with a open mind. The longer you’re there, the more you’ll see potential images unfold.


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