Landscape Photos in Portrait Orientation

We tend to shoot landscapes in ya know, landscape orientation. Why is that? My guess is that for the last 20 years or so, we viewed these images on computer screens. Also the sensor in your camera is laid out in landscape orientation as well, so if you hold the camera normally, thats how your images came out. 

Then came the smartphone and social media. 

How do you hold your phone? Vertically or horizontally? If you see an image you like on Facebook do you take the time to rotate your phone? Chances are nobody else does either. They look at your image for a maximum of 5 seconds and scroll past. Thats the harsh truth. Nobody looks at your images like you do. 

All is not lost, you just have to make a good impression even faster. 

The "trick" is to shoot your images (or edit them) specifically for social media. Post your images in a vertical (portrait) orientation and they will fill the entire screen on their mobile device. Shoot it in horizontal (landscape) orientation and all you get is a wide and tiny little rectangle. 

With Instagram this means cropping your photos to a 4x5 ratio and uploading them as such, you do not need to follow the 1x1 square rule anymore, take advantage of this. More screen real estate the better. 

I find that in practice I end up shooting two photos for each scene I come across. One for social media, and one in traditional landscape orientation. The latter might still be a better option for certain platforms or printing. 

The point is you can't ignore how 90% of images are viewed today, and that's on a smartphone, vertically. 

Landscape (Horizontal) on the left, vs Portrait (Vertical) on the right. 

Landscape (Horizontal) on the left, vs Portrait (Vertical) on the right.