If you read my last blog, you will know all about the different photography modes iPhones have to offer, but in this post we will focus more on when to apply those modes and what modes to use to achieve the best results.
I went around photographing everything I found interesting with my iPhone, but this time I focused mainly on the orientation of the camera; when to shoot in landscape (Horizontal) or when to shoot in portrait (Vertical).
The best way to decide is to first think of how your subject would look best, for instance if I was shooting a single person, I would shoot in portrait orientation as well as portrait mode; this way you capture more of the subject and less of the background. To shoot an actual portrait of someone from the wait up, you would have to stand further back to include this much of their body in Landscape mode, which would mean more of your background was in focus, something you want to avoid , as it can lead your eyes away from your subject.
Portrait mode is often better way to take photographs for social media, with your screen organically set on portrait mode when scrolling on Instagram or Facebook. it therefore sense photographing that way. This applies especially to Instagram Stories. The objective is to cover as much screen space as possible with your photograph.
So when should we use landscape? Well for exactly that reason: to capture landscapes or a wider scene. When taking photographs of beautiful vistas, sunsets or an interior you want to turn your phone on its side and shoot in landscape. This lets you capture far more of what you are looking at.
Using landscape orientation is also important when shooting video that isn’t specifically for Instagram Stories; by having a wider field of view you will get more in frame and this tells a better story. If you want to use your phone video n combination with video shot on other cameras, go landscape. You can always flip it on its side for IG stories, but if you shoot in portrait from the start and then want to combine it with any Landscape format video afterwards, you will compromise the quality enormously by having to zoom in enough to fill the Landscape frame.
Lets look at something slightly different. When using Pano mode on an iPhone, it allows you to pan from left to right and stitches a sequence of photographs together which results in one ultra-wide angle photograph. This is all done in portrait orientation. I found if you flip your phone and shoot the Pano in a landscape orientation, you can now pan from bottom to top, great for capturing something like a tall tree or a waterfall.
Let me know in the comments if you have experimented with this, and what your thoughts are.
Ultimately what I’ve talked about above are mere guidelines; my recommendations to get the most out of your iPhone. Photography and art in general is subjective, so what works for some won’t work for others.
Play around with Landscape and Portrait mode and see what you prefer…