Thursday’s Special

This week Paula encourages us to consider the differences between taking a landscape or portrait format. What factors make you decide which way to go? Is it the lens on your camera that forces you into a particular format, or are you making a more conscious decision about what it is you want to portray and what is the best way to do that? 

These two images are of the haunting bronze sculpture that I have featured before in black and white. The close-up landscape version(s) were deliberate compositions to focus on the detail of the women and children as they wait for their husbands and fathers to return from sea.The decision to take a portrait shot was based purely on the desire to capture the entire sculpture and show exactly how small these figures actually are.

I tend to take most of my photos in the landscape mode unless I am photographing something particularly tall like a building or a tree. Of course with editing software it is easy to change any photo into any size afterwards, so it is not always necessary to make the decision at the point of clicking the shutter. I think the most important decision you should make when taking that shot is whether you have thought about what it is you are trying to capture and have you considered carefully that this is the best composition. That helps you take a great shot rather than several mediocre ones when you simply ‘hope for the best’.

I am interested to hear your thoughts.

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I have lived in the UK for most of my life, but when young I definitely had wanderlust and even ended up living in South Africa for several years which was a wonderful experience. I now look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

40 thoughts on “Thursday’s Special”

  1. Wow, I remember this shot. I would never know how tiny these are just from landscape. it is really not fair to compare the two here. I am glad that you took both. The first one is really intriguing, what I love about the landscape apart from all the context and scale is the background , nice pinkish foggy background. I appreciate having these as entry for this challenge. Thanks a bunch, Jude.

    1. I suppose I should have used the same image to compare/contrast, but I wanted to show that sometimes you have to use both formats to give that frame of reference. (As I said to Debbie). Glad you like the post.

  2. Pretty much echoing Paula, and who better to echo? Lesson learned, Jude. 🙂 🙂
    Your man’s battling, as ever!

      1. Awesome tennis! I keep wanting to head for the garden for a while before Rafa, but I haven’t made it yet. 🙂 Nice beach walk this morning though.

        1. Was going to the beach / garden and out for lunch until I remembered it was semi-final day! But still rather blowy here. I will take OH out for his birthday lunch soon… 😉

    1. I am very much a landscape photographer (format not subject) looking at my folders of images, but sometimes you do need to make a change. Yes, it is a very emotional subject.

      1. That’s what I meant, indeed. I like the fact that the sculpture looks like a small stage here, giving the illusion of the figures maybe being life-sized.

  3. Jude such wise words you share here. I think I need you speaking in my ear when I am out and about with a camera. I tend to get overly excited at the beauty of a scene and snap away. Once home I often think ‘Why didn’t I take the time to try this or that?’.

    1. Oh, Sue, I was a snapper for a loooong time (and still am sometimes), only recently have I attempted to curb my enthusiasm and be more mindful about each shot.

  4. The close-up landscape makes the statues appear much bigger of course. I think I prefer the portrait mode shot, which makes you realise how small and detailed the figures are.
    Best wishes, Pete. x

  5. What a nice surprise! You gave the tiny statues more importance with the close-up shot. Even the background does not give them away. Love both images.

  6. Well the portrait tells the truth! So that would be me in travel blogger mode.
    But the landscape is my preferred image (in fact I love your even closer header image from behind) as an atmospheric, artistic shot. I am often torn between those two different approaches.

  7. The portrait image really puts this into context, Jude! I must say, I would dispute the idea that you can always change the format in post-processing, as just cropping doesn’t necessarily achieve the desired result….😳

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