About fifteen months ago, shortly after I returned to the U.S. from living abroad for nine years, I showed some of my work to an infinitely more experienced photographer. They were mostly 11x14 prints of scenes from Japan. I remembered one critique he gave of my photographs the most, "no portrait orientation." Certain things really stick in my mind, and his critique was one such thing. From the very next time I went out shooting his words echoed in my head and I did indeed begin to shoot in portrait orientation more.
I read a blog post by another infinitely more experienced photographer that included a portrait orientation landscape. I added that to my mental photography vault.
The Pier in downtown St. Petersburg is a very peculiar thing that is simultaneously the would-be centerpiece of the downtown and also the least liked attraction in the downtown area. It is just so prominent a structure that no matter how common a photography subject I feel it is, I, myself, keep photographing it too!
I often compose The Pier to be a small in the frame, and try to include an interesting sky, and fortunately this time, the moon also.
What do you keep in your mental photography vault? Do you show your work to an infinitely more experienced photographer? Have they given you constructive critiques? I believe to become a better photographer one must seek out such critiques and keep them in a handy place where they can be easily put to use the next time you go out shooting.
Check your favorite shots from the past year, what percent are landscape orientation? What percent are portrait orientation?