Vertical orientation photograph of an explosive sunset over frozen marsh and phragmites

Fired and Frozen

Vertical orientation photograph of an explosive sunset over frozen marsh and phragmites
Fired and Frozen — 14mm | f/8 | ISO 100 | 7 Bracketed Exposures

I avoid vertical orientation photography, and I’m doing myself a disservice. Despite its obvious place and application in landscape photography I remain reluctant to exploit it. Unpacking my reasoning and there’s a few things at play here: 1) I dropped my camera pretty early on and its gyroscope—and thereby level—is useless, rendering level horizons a bit harder to dial in when the camera is upright; 2) my website homepage renders all images in a traditional 3:2 crop ratio (standard crop you’d get from any 35mm film camera); 3) when viewing a single post page—such as this one—from a desktop the left-justification of the photo is a little bit wonky; and 4) I’m just not comfortable making them. To confuse things further, I prefer to shoot vertically from my mobile device as opposed to landscape. Without contradictions, I am not. It was actually a photograph I shared to Instagram last night that led me to go back and process my DSLR version of Sunday night’s sunset this evening.

Yet as I walk through the reasons cited above one thing becomes immediately clear—only one of those reasons has anything to do with photography. While all four in some degree or another shed light on the pitfalls of perfectionism, two of those reasons are remnants of my past life as a web designer. To be fair it’s not entirely a past life as I do have this place to still dabble in the front end web world, if only a little. In the immediate future, however? I will make it a point to shoot vertical more often. Not only is it the lone path to improvement, it’s a key piece to the landscape photographers repertoire. I can no longer choose to sit out. In the meantime my buddy Ben excels at the technique and took a mean shot this morning. That coupled with my Instagram shot sort of set this line of thinking in motion. He also shows off several exemplar vertical images on his 2015 best of post.

In order to scratch the perfectionist itch maybe I’ll carve out some time to address my web layout issues with vertical photos. Maybe.

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