Shooting Horizontal vs Vertical Images

In Rules of Composition by PixinfocusLeave a Comment

Horizontal vs Vertical photos. Have you ever asked yourself this question?

What are the differences between horizontal and vertical photographs?

Horizontal vs Vertical

Read also: Portrait vs Landscape

Horizontal Photos

The horizontal photographs, also called between the world of photographers as landscape format, are those images have a size superior in width than in height. These types of photographs are standard, as all cameras are pre-designed to take photographs horizontally and not vertically.

This distribution of predetermined parameters of the cameras, whether professional or of sporadic use, is given by the nature of human vision, since people naturally, we have a greater vision in horizontal and peripheral format. This is quite logical given the anatomy of our eyes, has that they are placed next to each other horizontally.

In addition, many experts have already confirmed that the human eye moves naturally by making horizontal movements, that is, from left to right and vice versa. This is because through these movements and the natural distribution of the anatomy of the face, people are able to record much more visual information horizontally than vertically.

On the other hand, all the electronic devices we use in our day-to-day lives are also designed to display the image in a landscape. This is basically because we stare at a vertical image, we will not be losing some of the information in that image, having a lower quality and losing the ability to generate a panoramic image full of space or details.

Vertical Photos

Vertical photographs are those that are larger in height than in width. These types of photographs, also called among the most experienced as portrait photography, are images with less capacity to capture visual information,because they tend to focus on a particular object or person and thus highlight it against the whole set of elements that can accompany it.

When a photographer needs to focus on a particular object or aspect, he will instinctively rotate his camera and put it in vertical format so that his lens can be selected more naturally and easily. Therefore, this type of photography is so common among portrait photography that it always seeks to highlight faces in front of background details.

When to Use Horizontal Photographs

When using horizontal photographsWhen we need to do the photography moving horizontallyTo achieve creating panoramic images with a lot of detailsWhen what we want to photograph is horizontalWhen the lens is wider than highWhen we want to create images with high resolution so they can be projected on electronic devices

When to Use Vertical Photographs

When the subject to be photographed is taller than wide when the target is moving vertically, that is, from top to bottomTo focus the attention of photography on a particular aspect and reduce the interest for the background of the imageTo bring a greater sense of movement to the imageWhen we take a picture of something moving upwards, capturing that image in that direction will make it look like the photograph is also moving. The same thing happens when we photograph subjects whose eyes are pointing up or down. If we leave space between the look and the rest of the image, we can create that feeling of movement and follow the orientation of the look completely.

Horizontal vs Vertical: Main Differences

Visual information and details

Horizontal photographs are used to capture larger images, generating a greater sense of breadth and visual information. Vertical images, on the other hand, restrict our viewing range, remove information and focus it on a specific area or object. They focus on detail to highlight aspects of the image that with horizontal photographs we would not be able to see clearly.


The horizontal photography is easier to do, since all the cameras are designed to shoot photos in this format, while the vertical ones force us to modify the direction of the camera, place it in L and focus more on what we want to capture.


Vertical photography has lower quality than horizontal photography. When the image is centralized, information is lost, so when viewing vertical photographs on devices such as computers or televisions ( whose natural reproduction of the images is horizontal), we will notice that the quality is much lower than a horizontal photograph.

Is It Better to Shoot Horizontal or Vertical Images?

After analyzing in depth the characteristics of each type of photography, we have to solve the following question: which is better? The answer is neither simple nor unique.

Each photographer will have to choose which of the following frames is the most suitable for his photography, depending on the message he wants to convey when making it. There is no better option than another, everything depends on the reading we want to do, choosing appropriately between the vertical or horizontal format so that the natural direction of the image we photographed and want to transmit with it are in line.

Depending on the movement of the lens, its layout or the size, we will need to analyze which is the best option to better capture the essence of that snapshot. It’s not about habits, but to know how to interpret every occasion.

See more example of horizontal vs vertical pictures here.

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