Monday, September 15, 2014

To Vertical Or Not To Vertical

Words + Pictures by Angela Cappetta

Time to dork out on something I feel strongly about:  vertical photographs. 

Transcendent verticals are hard to make.  The other day a flash issue from a broken ball head forced me to take heaps of verticals - I was using a 35mm Leica rangefinder tethered to a shoulder strapped Lumedyne flash. Forced into a situation I didn't ask for,  I had to give up the comfort of a horizontal.  After a 3 second panic, I remembered that I'm not a lazy shooter and need to to look at things stacked up in addition to spread out. 

For me, a vertical is well made because it is like climbing and descending a ladder with your eyes. A nicely drawn horizontal is more about a visual motion of left to right and back again, like water. Interruptions in the frame, are always satisfying, no matter the orientation.

Eyes want to go peripherally, left to right to center. Turning the frame vertically is a game changer. The eyes and brain are forced into an unexpected paradigm.

The goal is to see how we, as photographers, can look at cameras as a drawing tool, not a slapdash lazy way to hold an iphone.

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