Guiding Light

Today’s theme is water and from a photographic composition point of view, the question is landscape or horizontal versus a vertical take on a scene.

Today’s Tip compliments of Photo 101 B;ogging University:

Ever wonder whether a photograph will work better horizontally or vertically? It’s a great question to ask when looking through your viewfinder! Humans have binocular vision — which means we have two eyes, adjacent to one another — and naturally scan a scene along a horizontal, rather than vertical, plane.

After you snap your picture, rotate your camera and take a shot from the other orientation — horizontally if you first took the picture vertically, and vice versa. If you’re aiming for an establishing shot, what orientation works better? How does a vertical shot affect your scene?

My shots today are from Castlepoint Lighthouse found in the Wairarapa, just north of Wellington, our capital city.

I love the sea, I was brought up on the West Coast of the South Island and my dad was a commercial fisherman. Summer holidays were at a beachside camping ground and involved long summer days, fishing, swimming and water skiing in the tidal lagoon. I love the sound of crashing waves and the tang of the salt air.

These particular photos bring back memories of an excellent road trip in a camper van with two very good friends. We had a blast driving a return rental camper back up to Auckland for the rental company.

I like both these shots but can say without a doubt the horizontal photo is my pick of the two.

The landscape shot has more depth than the vertical because it has the small outcrop of land in the background. It gives more of a sense of the coastline it is warning sailors about and I feel that the vastness of the ocean is better represented. The lighthouse is a good focal point and the rocky outcrop it sits on comes to a point leading the eye out to sea. I feel it is very well balanced. I can imagine its light sweeping the coast at night.

I took the vertical shot because I thought it might accentuate the height of the lighthouse. While the lighthouse is very prominent and the path in the foreground leads to it nicely I just feel it lacks the background to give it that needed depth.

I think the horizontal picture tells the lighthouse’s story in a better way as it shows the coastal environment which is the whole reason a lighthouse was built in the first place.

My choice, Landscape, Horizontal. 


Which one would be your choice?

In response to Photo 101 –  Day 3, Water and Orientation

Yoroshiku Onegai shimasuimages (1)



13 responses to “Guiding Light

  1. I’m with you Leanne. I slightly prefer the landscape shot because it really captures the vanishing horizon. But the blue of the sky and cloud pattern in the portrait orientation shot are pretty amazing though. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I actually like the vertical, but I’m partial to simplicity and in that shot I think it’s easier to tell that I’m supposed to be looking at the lighthouse. Of course, the obvious answer is that they’re both very nice:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Yes the vertical is definitely a shot of the lighthouse where as the horizontal is a nice combo of day 2 and 3 as I feel it is also a wide establishing shot. Luckily in this marvelous day and age of digital photography and storage, I don’t have to chose!

      Liked by 1 person

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