Landscape vs Portrait Orientation for a Pastoral Scene

I forget the name of this stream, its roughly halfway through the Pig Route, from Palmerston to Ranfurly – Click to Embiggen

I have an exam in a week and a half and am quite bored with study right now, so took some time to revisit images from my Maniototo trip in Easter last year.  Due to my study schedule then I still have most of them to process!

This stream caught my eye so I pulled over to take some shots – the different layers and tones of green and gold, the textures of the grass and scrub against a brilliant blue autumn sky were irresistable 🙂

My original thought was to frame it in Portrait orientation, but as I also shot it in Landscape, I am interested in feedback as to which works better visually?

Landscape Orientation – Click to Embiggen

I like the Portrait shot for the way it focuses on the curves of the stream and foreground, and the way the lines in the background hills echo the curves of the stream.

I like the Landscape shot for the way it shows more of the background hills, especially the rocky ones in the right hand corner, and you see more colour tones and shapes with the wider view.  I also like how I was able to crop out the fence and have the stream end up in the corner, that didn’t work so well in the Portrait version.

To me the Portrait version distills the essence of the scene, it feels better and simpler.

Maybe the Landscape version might be improved if I crop about a quarter off the left side essentially widening the view in the Portrait scene just a bit, rather than a lot?

Agree?  Disagree?  Share your thoughts, feedback and comments!

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About lensaddiction

Mad keen photographer figuring it out as she goes!
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18 Responses to Landscape vs Portrait Orientation for a Pastoral Scene

  1. I like the portrait shot myself 🙂 The textures are more prominent.

  2. Leanne Cole says:

    I like the portrait too, in that mode the river or stream is more prominent and takes more centre stage, whereas the landscape mode is more about the hills. My opinion, just one. Great shot, love the colours.

    • lensaddiction says:

      Its a good point which I hadn’t really processed last night when I was posting about how the stream has more focus in the portrait version

  3. leecleland says:

    The portrait image is a much stronger one to me, the river leads you into the mountains, there is texture, colour and depth to the scene. It says all that needs to be said and doesn’t need more to say it. The landscape orientation is not as strong, to me the eye wanders around without a strong focus once your eye has reached the end of the river. It is a nice shot but nothing special to it. I actually prefer the river touching the frame above the corner as in the portrait image it gives me a chance to ‘see’ the textures of the foreground before following the river. My tuppence half-penny worth 🙂

  4. loisajay says:

    I agree–portrait works for me, also. It highlights the mountains more. The colors are quite amazing!

  5. Sue says:

    The portrait draws us into the scene, the landscape just gives us ‘the bigger picture’, a sense of setting and scale. So portrait for me!

  6. katieprior says:

    The portrait shot for me too. The image in this format feels far more dynamic, as said in earlier comments, your eye follows the stream up towards the hills and the foreground is more interesting than the landscape version too. Nice picture! 🙂

    • lensaddiction says:

      Thanks Katie, just a random shot of the local landscape when driving around the South Island. Its just that pretty everywhere, what makes this shot work is the nice warm sidelight, I notice now in the landscape version a cloud had rolled over and the top of the first ridge is shadowed. So many things to keep an eye on in making a composition!

  7. KatrinaK says:

    I agree that the portrait version is the better of these two. I think the landscape version would be improved by some cropping. The dark portion on the left could go along with a bit of the bottom. You’d end up with a photo emphasizing the hills more than the stream, which would give a different feel from the portrait shot but with more interest than the version above.

    • lensaddiction says:

      Yes thats what I was thinking too when I was writing the post. I might play with it a bit tonight and see how the changes make it look.

  8. imgrandmacarol says:

    I love both photos! The portrait one definitely has more texture in all the colors. But I find the landscape one to be more relaxing somehow. It feels more pastoral, while the portrait one seems to have more action. The stream isn’t the main thing I first see in either photo. What my eyes went to immediately in both photos were the rolling hills with the different colors and textures. Another great adventure in photography!

  9. I find the portrait version more visually interesting. I am always telling my social snappers group to use both portrait and landscape shots at when out – you can always compare them afterwards to see which version you prefer.

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