The Van Wert County Courthouse

Monday, Aug. 8, 2022

Portrait, landscape modes of photography

In photography, the terms portrait and landscape can mean types of photographs. They can also refer to the mode in which the photo was taken. Portrait mode means holding the camera perpendicular to the horizon and landscape mode indicates supporting the camera parallel to the horizon.  

Only the situation or how the image will be used will determine your choice.  If it’s a bride & groom, a tall building, or an individual, you’ll probably shoot in portrait mode to get closer and record as many details as possible.  If it is the wedding party, a sports car, or if the individual and the surroundings are almost equally important, then landscape mode is your choice. 

This illustration shows where a child is having fun.  If the child had been the subject, portrait mode would have been a better choice. photo by Rex Dolby.

Now let’s consider how the image will be used.  Use the portrait mode if this is an individual’s formal sitting, or a picture to document a special event, such as blowing out the candles on a cake.  If there’s a distracting element near or in the background of the subject and neither you nor the subject can move left or right to change the angle of sight to the subject, selecting portrait mode may crop out the distraction. 

If you are making a projected presentation, the landscape mode will more nearly fill your screen, thereby creating a greater visual impact.   Use it also if you are recording an event such as a graduation and want to show the graduate surrounded by a mass of classmates.  Some families publish an annual calendar.  The shape of the calendar demands photos that are wider than they are high.  In terms of photo greeting cards, the shape of the card dictates the shape of the photo.

This may seem like a lot to keep in mind, but if you do, you’ll be pleased with your results.

Note that Thursday, March 21, will be the last time this year to photograph a full, Super Moon. More on that next week.

POSTED: 03/13/19 at 7:48 am. FILED UNDER: Camera Club News