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Vertical Landscapes? Are You Kidding?


The Milkyway and Saguaro by James H Egbert
Vertical Landscape Milkyway and Saguaro


As a TV News Photojournalists, we have a saying, "Friends don't let friends shoot vertical video." The reason being that unless you're a weirdo, your TV layout is horizontal. But, shooting vertical landscapes isn't all that weird, and why? How many Horizontal magazines have you read? Weirdos aside shooting vertical aspect landscapes, also known as portrait-oriented landscapes, can provide a fresh and unique perspective. Here are three reasons why shooting vertical aspect landscapes can be beneficial, along with six tips on how to capture them effectively:






Reasons to Shoot Vertical Aspect Landscapes:


Outdoor Photographer Magazine
Outdoor Photographer Magazine

1. Emphasize Height and Depth: Vertical aspect landscapes can help emphasize the height and depth of a scene, especially when there are prominent elements such as tall trees, mountains, or skyscrapers. This orientation allows you to showcase the vertical elements of the landscape, creating a sense of grandeur and scale.


2. Enhance Leading Lines: Vertical compositions can enhance leading lines within a landscape, such as paths, roads, or rivers. By aligning these lines vertically, you can create a strong visual flow that guides the viewer's eyes through the image, creating a sense of depth and dimension.


3. Portrait Orientation: Vertical aspect landscapes can be particularly effective when you want to showcase the beauty and uniqueness of a specific location. By using a portrait orientation, you can capture more of the surroundings in the frame, allowing for a comprehensive portrayal of the landscape's character.


Tips on How to Shoot Vertical Aspect Landscapes:


Cover of the National Geographic Magazine
National Geographic Cover

1. Compose with Purpose: When shooting vertical aspect landscapes, pay attention to your composition. Look for leading lines, focal points, or interesting foreground elements that can add depth and interest to your image. Experiment with different angles and perspectives to find the most compelling composition.


2. Utilize a Tripod: To ensure sharpness and stability, use a tripod when shooting vertical aspect landscapes. This will help you maintain a steady frame and allow for longer exposures if needed. It also gives you more time to fine-tune your composition without the risk of camera shake.


3. Use Wide-angle Lenses: Wide-angle lenses can be particularly useful for capturing vertical aspect landscapes. They allow you to include more of the scene in the frame while still maintaining a sense of depth and scale. Experiment with different focal lengths to find the right balance between including the surroundings and emphasizing the main subject.


4. Pay Attention to the Sky: Vertical aspect landscapes often have a significant portion of sky in the frame. Keep an eye on the sky's exposure to avoid blown-out highlights or underexposed areas. Consider using graduated neutral density filters or bracketing exposures to capture the full range of tonal values.


5. Incorporate Foreground Interest: Including a compelling foreground element can enhance the visual impact of a vertical aspect landscape. Look for rocks, flowers, or any other subject that can add depth and context to the composition. Ensure that the foreground element complements the overall scene and provides a sense of scale.


6. Experiment with Panoramas: Shooting a series of vertically oriented images and stitching them together can result in stunning panoramic landscapes. This technique allows you to capture an expansive view while maintaining the vertical orientation. Use dedicated panorama software or image editing tools to merge the images seamlessly.


Remember, these tips are meant to guide you, but don't be afraid to experiment and develop your own style when shooting vertical aspect landscapes. The key is to capture the essence and unique qualities of the scene while using the vertical orientation to your advantage.

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