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on Dec 30, 2014 in Wildlife Photography

V or H – I Still Wonder

Snow Geese 3925

Which way to turn the camera, vertical or horizontal (yes, I know, these days folks say landscape and portrait but to this old fart, those are terms for rock and people photography)? I’ve written about this many times before but it’s a question that keeps coming up, from emails and my own photography. Here’s the latest example where in my own mind which way to turn was not obvious. What do I mean by obvious? Well, the common thought is to put a vertical subject in a vertical format and a horizontal subject in a horizontal format. But since we want to make the uncommon out of the common, the question comes up. You add in elements like in these photos of the fine, autumn colored grasses and the question remains, which way to turn our camera?

Snow Geese 3966

Shooting the Snow Geese at Bosque del Apache last week, especially in the early morning, the light plays on their white plumage like a song as the sun rises. The light, if for only briefly, hits the top of the head and falls off down the body towards the feet. This play of light also works on the landscape around the geese along with the geese themselves. All of this is what raises the question, vertical or horizontal? Now looking through the D4s / 800mm, a very important detail came to life in this visual process, the white at the feet of the goose. Now that white appears to be a spot of light but when in actually, it’s whitewash (eeeeew). Nonetheless the source, that bit of white at its feet is what made me wonder should I go vertical or horizontal. As you can see, I shot both. The question is, did I take both photos because I wanted examples to post or, did I not have the answer myself and shot both. You may never know.

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