Horizontal vs. Vertical Photographs
From Liz Masoner, former About.com Guide
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What Are Horizontal and Vertical Photogaphs?
Horizontal photographs are photographs that are wider than they are tall. Vertical photographs are photographs that are taller than they are wide. Cameras are designed to take one type of photograph, horizontal. This follows the way that human beings see the world. Our eyes are set horizontally across from each other, giving us a view that is wider instead of taller. This allows us to be more aware of our surroundings through peripheral vision. However, in photographs our vision is limited by the edges of the frame so that peripheral vision is eliminated. While this would be dangerous in real life, having no peripheral vision in photography helps the photographer to focus attention on the intended subject by limiting the field of vision. Since a photograph cannot selectively focus once taken (like the brain can selectively focus on a live scene), this limitation of the field of vision is extremely important to photographers. By turning a camera sideways, photographers achieve a vertical photograph in order to further limit the field of vision.