Monday, 22 November 2010

Vertical and Horizontal Frames

Exercise - 20 photographs horizontal & 20 vertical

For this exercise you have to take a variety of images in a vertical format. They can be of any situation or subject. The exercise is then repeated with the same images taken in a horizontal format.

The purpose of the exercise is to show that most subjects can be photographed vertically as well as horizontally with a little bit more thought and that taking images horizontally is a matter of habit. It will also show a tendency to place the "weight" of the main subject lower in the frame and to naturally seek out tall subjects to suit the frame.

All of which I have to agree is true. I did find myself looking for tall frame filling subjects and scenes which had enough interest both vertically and horizontally to make an image work.

These images are a few examples of the 40 taken for the exercise.

Swilkin Bridge St Andrews

Clubhouse 18th Green  - St Andrews Old Course

St Andrews University Students

St Andrews Seafront

Dysart Harbour Fife

University Student
Pitenweem Harbour Fife

Dysart Harbour Low Tide

St Andrews University Quad

Decaying Tree Tentsmuir
According to Michael Freeman in "The Photographer's Eye" there are 3 main reasons why we tend to shoot images in a horizontal format. The first is that camera manufacturers find it easier to produce cameras for horizontal use and that it would be difficult to design a camera for horizontal and vertical use. The second is that photographers find it more comfortable to take picture horizontally as turning the camera vertically is less comfortable and so rarely do so and thirdly, to me more obvious, is that as we have two eyes and binocular vision so we tend to see horizontally and therefore it is more natural.

Now, I can see how all of that is true except I would say I take just as many pictures vertically as horizontally. In fact I have been forced to take more images horizontally by these exercises than I would normally and even looking at the images I have already taken for Assignment 1, I can say that at least half are in the vertical format. Not quite sure why I am doing this especially if Michael Freeman's assertion that most photographers rarely do this is correct. I think I use this format subconsciously but maybe in future I should give it some thought.............

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