Weekly Photo Challenge: Portrait or Landscape

I love the new series of posts devoted to photography as visual storytelling.  I read this week’s post ‘Finding the Best Shot – Portrait or Landscape‘ and was having a conversation with Jeff Sinon about taking both landscape and portrait photos of the same view.  I was saying that my hand is steadier in a landscape position so prefer those shots & he recommended that I use a tripod and an ‘Really Right Stuff “L” plate’ to switch quickly from portrait to landscape and back again

I have just started getting a bit more adventurous with my photography and so the series of posts entitled ‘Photography 101‘ have come at just the right time for me.  Here’s today’s experiment.  Click on either of them to see them full size.

These are two photos I took on a bridge over the River Thames looking towards D’Oyly Carte Island at sunset.

Portrait or landscape….

My aim was to capture the sky and its reflections in the water at sunset.  Which works better in this case?

This week’s Weekly Photo Challenge ‘One Shot Two Ways‘ comes just in time, straight after the Photography 101 tutorial 🙂

Revision: The same photos both slightly cropped to focus more on the sky

Another attempt at cropping 🙂  This time here are the three versions of the portrait photos


About Barbara

Born in Dublin, living in London with Peter, my two daughters, Wilson our Spaniel & Woordow our Malshih (Shih Tzu-Maltese cross)
This entry was posted in England, Photography, Summer, Weybridge and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

46 Responses to Weekly Photo Challenge: Portrait or Landscape

  1. I go for the landscape!


  2. Barbara says:

    I just lost my comment, so if it turns up you can pick the one you want. Anyways, the landscape wins because it has more information in the reflection/sunset because that is what you intended, but I think you need less trees on the side like the portrait version. A bit of both….
    I am going to Georgian Bay tomorrow so with that theme in mind I am going to take some photos.


    • Barbara says:

      I checked spam & it’s not there so I don’t know where your comment went 😦
      I agree, i think it’s cos the sunset is in the middle of the photo, and the portrait has too much blue sky & dull river in it, while the landscape focusses on the sunset. I think you are right too, the photo needs a crop….


    • Barbara says:

      Have cropped them now & added the revised photos. Looking forward to seeing your photos tomorrow 🙂


  3. I like the portrait because it picks up more of the color of the sky and the corresponding reflection the water.


  4. Barbara says:

    I like the new portrait one too, because of the sky. It is funny how the right crop makes or breaks…good lesson.


    • Barbara says:


      I normally do crop my photos before posting, even cropping them from Landscape to portrait if it suits the photo, but deliberately posted these ones as they were as I wanted to show the contrast. Didn’t think (before you mentioned it) of cropping both of them 🙂


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  7. Grannymar says:

    Amazing skies, I really like the cropped version.


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  10. Jeff Sinon says:

    These are beautiful Barbara. Thank you so much for the mention too 😀

    I must say that I like the second crop of the landscape photo better, but the first version of the portrait. In the cropped portrait, for me anyway, you lose too much of great color reflected on the water. Also, and this is pretty minor, the island in the cropped portrait becomes a little too centered.

    So, “portrait or landscape?” For me, without a doubt the first portrait. You’ve got the best part of the sky and more of that great reflection.


    • Barbara says:

      Thank you for your comment! I love when ‘real’ photographers come to visit me! I’ve found your posts really helpful. I was trying to capture the sky and its reflection in the river but as light was fading and I was running out of time I forgot the ‘rule of thirds’ 🙂 also in the portrait photo there is a cloud formation above the sunset which is great, and I didn’t want to crop that out, but maybe I’ll try that when I get home and see if it ‘decentres’ the island again!


      • Jeff Sinon says:

        Well I don’t know about the whole “real photographer” part, but I like to think I know a thing or two 😉

        For me at least, I’d crop those clouds at the top of the frame even further. They don’t add anything to the photo for me, the clouds burning closer to the horizon is where all the action is at. However, no matter what I, or anyone else may say, it’s your photo. The most important person to make happy with it is you. If you’re happy with how it came out, who cares about any “rules” or what some crazy Yank, wanna-be photographer, has to say about it 😀


        • Barbara says:

          Have had a go now… third version of portrait without the clouds does look much better! Amazing that this is a pretty excellent representation of what the sky looked like as I don’t know how to edit photos properly! I must give credit to my camera 🙂


          • Jeff Sinon says:

            Perfect! It is pretty amazing what nature provides isn’t it. After a person has learned, I mean really learned, how to use their camera, half of creating a good photograph can often be as simple as being in the right place at the right time when nature decides to show off. The real “work” is being willing to do that.


            • Barbara says:

              🙂 I do try to be out at sunset with my camera…. Sunrise is more of a challenge for me in summer, but i could always have a nap in the middle of the day


              • Jeff Sinon says:

                Oh I hate sunrise in the summer! I’m actually pretty impressed with myself this year because of the number of times I’ve been out for sunrise this summer. I won’t lie though, I can’t wait for fall and winter.


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  12. Al says:

    I have spent a long time studying these photos. It’s hard to decide. If you made me choose, I’d go with the portrait. In spite of possibly incurring the wrath of Sinon, I like the little puffy clouds on the top. They give the photo character and complement the ripples on the bottom. Please don’t tell him I’m a Yank too.


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  15. Joe Owens says:

    These are so gorgeous Barbara. I love sunrise and sunset photos and have collected several of my own this summer.


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