Photography Tip - use portrait orientation for long tall subjects like a great egret

Photography Tip - portrait orientation allows the great egret to fill the frame - The Pier, St. Petersburg, Florida

  • Setup:  Nikon D300 Nikkor 80-20mm f/2.8D @ f/4 ISO 200 1/2000th 

Getting into a fixed routine of using landscape orientation with your DSLR is easy.  After all, the DSLR seems to be designed to be held horizontally.  However, only using landscape orientation eliminates 50%+ of composition possibilities!  Not to mention it makes it extremely awkward to photograph long, tall subjects like the above great egret.  Perhaps the best criticism I was every given about my photography was there there were not enough portrait orientation shots (thanks Jeff!).  I was told that over two years ago.  Ever since then every time I shoot I am mindful of using an appropriate amount of landscape and portrait orientation shots.  Maybe now you will be too.

When shooting in portrait orientation, I like to hold the grip part of the DSLR up, which allows me to still wedge my left elbow into my body creating a stable shooting position.  The highest end DSLRs (i.e. $5000+) come with a vertical grip built in.  However, many other DSLRs do have vertical grip accessories available for them made by the manufacturer.  Another benefit of using a vertical grip is that it houses more batteries so you can shoot longer.  

This great egret photograph is available for commercial license and fine art print