Going Vertical

SaltyDog, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

I don’t usually shoot a lot of verticals. I used to do it a lot more and then, a few years ago I happened to decide I wanted to do a calendar. There’s nothing quite as maddening as sitting down to edit and organize your work, only to discover that you’ve got one or two stubborn vertical images that just don’t seem to fit in with the rest. It’s difficult to do a lot of print work, sometimes even fit images into a Blurb book, for example, if you’ve got a mish-mash of verticals mixed in with horizontal images. Maybe it’s because of this, or maybe it’s just because I force myself to nowadays, but I just don’t do a whole heck of a lot of vertical images after that experience. I just don’t shoot them all that much anymore, not unless I really have to or the scene really calls for it.

One thing many people don’t realize about vertical images is that they are a great thing to do if you are providing text. If you want a “cover” image for a book, for example, vertical might be just the way to go. You can basically make a square image, leaving a lot of negative space up top for the accompanying text, and then you’ve got yourself a nice cover (or image with text.) It works. The text looks uncluttered and has a natural place to “breathe” and the image retains its natural strength. I actually really like that combination.

When it all comes down to it, some people just see the world more vertically than others, I guess. Some people like the strong vertical lines, they play upon that natural sense of height, while others like a more landscape-inspired approach. I’ve always been a “live and let live” type of photographer in that regard-I’ll never try to convince anybody to switch off of or onto vertical or horizontal images, I just don’t think I’ll be taking tons more myself. I think, in my case anyway, it’s just more a matter of convenience than anything else.

Do you shoot a lot of verticals? Do you prefer having that nice, straight horizon line? Or do you prefer the natural height, implied scale, and perspective of a vertical image?

Until next time…


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