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Landscape vs portrait

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Quick question. Do you notice any difference in which sales better? Do newspapers/publishers prefer one over another? Is landscape with dead space better than portrait with subject filling whole frame? ...ok, three questions ;)

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The answer to this question is going to depend on whether a photographer shoots a fairly even mix of landscape and portrait orientated images. If he/she shoots mainly portrait then they will say "Portrait" and visa versa.

 

Allan

 

 

Edited by Allan Bell
typo

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Looking at my sales for the last three months, a clear majority are landscape.

I am pretty sure, however, that a clear majority of my images are taken in landscape format, so that's probably to be expected.

I tend to take portraits in 'landscape' format anyway.

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Forty percent of my last year sales were portrait. I do make a conscious effort to shoot every subject landscape and portrait, but they don’t always both make the cut technically.

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Sometimes, I'll do both, depending on subject. Not sold many, but there have been portrait sales mixed with the landscape ones.

 

Krisken

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bear in mind that when a paper or magazine is laying out a story for print,  the  space left for the stock image is often determinded by the overall shape of the page and the rest of the content. . If what you have is the wrong proportions, it reduces the chances of being used. For these sort of stories, the text comes first and the image is chosen to fit the space, rather than the space being determined by the image...

 

Rule of thumb; shoot  portrait/landscape/oblique/detail and you're pretty much covered

 

km

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Found a bit of time and checked my portrait sales against my landscape sales.

 

Last year it was 28% port of total sales for year.

 

Total since started selling on Alamy 18% port of total sales.

 

Allan

 

 

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Thank you all for your replies. This helps a lot. I will try more to shoot bot versions of each subject.

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I always try to do a quick flip of the camera and get both a portrait and landscape shot, as in this case.

lang-grist-mill-and-spillway-at-the-lang

lang-grist-mill-and-spillway-at-the-lang

However sometimes it is not possible because of subject movement, or I am just lazy, so I will crop a portrait image out of a 50 megapixel landscape as here.

The 50 megapixel landscape here:

paddling-a-canoe-down-the-indian-river-i

The 22 megapixel portrait crop from the 50 megapixel landscape here. I did flip the camera to portrait mode after shooting the landscape version but the resulting placement of the canoes was weak, so I deleted the in camera portrait shots.

paddling-a-canoe-down-the-indian-river-i

 

Recently I went through my 50 megapixel landscapes, that were not shot as portrait, and cropped some of them to 20 megapixel portraits. You can see the cropped landscapes on the first page of my portfolio if you go there. I think it is a worthwhile exercise because a buyer quickly looking at several hundred images for a portrait format may not readily see the portrait within the landscape.

http://www.alamy.com/search/imageresults.aspx?&xstx=0&userid={F0453AA0-D41A-421F-B4D6-F125791B632D}&name=bill-brooks&st=12

 

This solution requires a high resolution camera and probably RF designation.

 

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I always try to do both but one thing I noticed is in a standard search the portrait thumbnails seem tiny next to the landscape thumbnails.

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My sales are about 3:1 landscape. Collection, only about 60:40, which surprised me. Too many portraits.

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About 10% of my sales have been portrait in the past few years - and about 5% were square photos. I noticed that while I make an effort to shoot both portrait and landscape, especially as I started out shooting for local magazines and newspapers back when portrait orientation images sold more often (horizontal seems to be the preference on the web), I have not uploaded as many as I thought. I'm not sure why. I tend to crop a lot of portrait orientation images square, because they show up better as thumbnails, and that may be why. I should probably upload the horizontal, square and portrait versions. I'm not sure the percentage of portrait images in my portfolio, but a quick look through confirms that it is more than 10%. 

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There are exceptions, but almost all cameras have been built to fit the hand in landscape mode. The various square format cameras avoided the problem which likely explains their professional success years ago. The only camera I ever had which was set to naturally take portrait mode was a little 4.5 x 6 cm Fuji film camera.  Of course it's a good idea to offer both options but we have to push ourselves to do it. Tall buildings or things with spires naturally require the portrait orientation as a general rule. There was a time when the way Alamy showed thumbnails the square format presented as much bigger, but that didn't last too long

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For landscape/location pix in portrait format, it's a good idea to leave 25%-35% of the pic area 'empty'  at the top (preferably blue sky), which might make them suitable for use as magazine covers...

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When the Daily Mail was using umpteen Alamy photos and I took upon the none too pleasant task of searching through their pages for images they had a decided preference for landscape. I generally try to shoot both and tried to cover some of their favourite topics, but almost inevitably my  DM sales were landscape. However that was shooting for peanuts, and, as others have said, portrait would be the natural choice for a magazine cover. Do both wherever possible.

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Shoot both formats (plus variations) if you can/if it works.

 

I'm still puzzled by customer behaviour though...

A recent use in The Times newspaper used my portrait format picture and cropped it to landscape format, which then looked just like the landscape format picture that I had of the same thing !

The landscape version of my pic was used by three other publications, so no idea why the Times did what they did.

 

Also, fill the frame. Then another with space around the subject (for text/cropping).

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