Format for camera photography

  • As a pair, human eyes tend to see the world as a horizontal oval with fuzzy edges. They also see a much wider span than the standard lens on a 35mm camera.

  • However, the human eye flits about a scene, focusing on different parts. This is why photos can be disappointing compared with the original subject - the camera 'sees' one scene in the shape of a hard rectangle, the human eye sees lots of softly outlined images.

Horizontal format

  • It's natural to look through the viewfinder so you see your image as a horizontal rectangle. The camera encourages you further - it s designed to make it easier to hold that way.

  • This is the classic picture shape for general views and landscapes and is often known as landscape format. Photographers tend to start out taking most of their pictures horizontally. It seems natural, it suits many views and it feels comfortable.

  • But there's no rule that you have to put landscapes in a landscape format. Always see what a landscape - or any other subject - looks like when you turn the camera round. You may decide against the first and simplest option - a horizontal photo.

  • While the horizon often looks comfortable in a landscape picture in the horizontal format, some landscapes are strengthened by a vertical shape. All you can do is try it and see.


  • Even when you haven't a camera to hand, you can still keep looking at the picture-making potential of things around you. A simple way is to imitate seeing through the viewfinder. Make a frame with your hands and look through that. Frame every scene in a vertical rectangle as well as a horizontal one.

More information about camear setting

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