Photo Tips by David Linnig

Try a 90˚ Turn!

Most amateur-level cameras are designed to use 35mm film. This film employs a rectangular 24mm by 36mm frame, which we eventually see in the large 4”x6” print size that we get back from the processing lab.

Virtually all 35mm cameras have been designed for ready use in the horizontal position and, because of that shape, we tend to use our cameras almost exclusively in the horizontal position or “format.” This is fine for many landscape scenes, sunsets and such but it is not the only option available to us.

Frequently, we forget the vertical format, even when the subject lends itself better to the tall rather than the wide frame. For example, a photograph of a small group of standing people (which is a common subject for us all) usually works better in vertical format, especially if we want to include more than just their faces.

An easy way to think about this is to determine what your primary subject is and whether it is essentially horizontal or vertical. Then select the same format for your subject. This allows you to fill the frame and make a more pleasing image.

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