FRAME SHAPES AND SIZES

VERTICAL AND HORIZONTAL FRAMES

The natural inclination for many photographers is to take all their photographs in horizontal (landscape) format unless the shape of the subject clearly dictates that a vertical (portrait) format is more appropriate.  As is shown in this exercise, virtually any scene can be shot in either format to create attractive images so it is always worth turning the camera on its side when taking any shot, if time allows, to see how it looks in the viewfinder.  It may well be that the scene will take on a completely different appearance revealing otherwise unseen characteristics and interest.

—–   o0o   —–

 

IMAGE 1A

IMG_2624

 IMAGE 1B

IMG_0544

IMAGE 2A

IMG_0545

IMAGE 2B

IMG_2502

 IMAGE 3A

 

IMG_2503

IMAGE 3B

 

IMG_2508

IMAGE 4A

 

IMG_2510

IMAGE 4B

 

IMG_2516

IMAGE 5A

     IMG_2518

IMAGE 5B

 

IMG_2669

      IMAGE 6A

 

IMG_2668

         IMAGE 6B

 

IMG_2687

 IMAGE 7A

IMG_2688

IMAGE 7B

 

IMG_2713

IMAGE 8A

 

IMG_2714

IMAGE 8B

 

IMG_2715

     IMAGE 9A

 

IMG_2718

  ITEM 9B

 

IMG_2858

IMAGE 10A

 

IMG_2857

  IMAGE 10B

 From these examples, it can be seen that the nature of the image can change quite significantly if the frame is vertical (portrait) rather than horizontal (landscape).  Depending on the subject, the use of a vertical format can lend height to a subject (see Image 10B above) or distance / depth (e.g. Images 8B and 9B above).   Interestingly, although I generally find the landscape format to be more attractive, possibly because it is the format that is generally seen and is more usually chosen to decorate the walls of peoples’ houses, in the majority of the examples above I am more excited by the images in the portrait format.  Perhaps this is because it is more unusual and therefore more arresting.  One thing that I will be taking away from this exercise is the awareness that it is well worth exploring both formats when framing any subject, whether it is traditional to do so or not.

I am aware that I am more comfortable referring to these formats as portrait and landscape and I recognise that this results from my background in buying and selling paintings.  The use of these terms in relation to photography reflects the early history of the art in the 19th Century when photography was equated with the familiar art of painting.  In his book ‘The Photograph’, Graham Clarke notes that the depictive and narrative nature of photography as epitomised by Henry Fox Talbot,  particularly in his work ‘The Pencil of Nature’ (1844-6), Roger Fenton  and others reflected popular art at the time and therefore was viewed and couched in similar terms.  Photographs are still often viewed by many in the light of their relationship to other art forms.

—–   o0o   —–

Reference : –  ‘The Photograph’  by Graham Clarke.  Published by Oxford University Press in the Oxford History of Art Series.  ISBN 978-0-19-284200-8

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s