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Praised by Instagram, vertical photography has become popular in our daily consumption of social networks. At the time of swipe and scroll, photos in portrait mode adapt perfectly to our smartphones. Covering the majority of our screen, the experience is just as striking when the shot is successful.
Due to its format, the vertical photo has a poorer ability to integrate information and limits the number of objects or people in your composition. Capturing a scene in its height will therefore require a little more imagination. Here are some simple tips for a successful vertical photo.
Shoot the portrait
On your daily hour-long walk, you find yourself in a beautiful scene with your friend. ” Wait 2 seconds, I’m making a story! The light is beautiful and you draw your smartphone to freeze this moment. Instinctively, you’ll be holding your phone upright before you press the shutter button.Spoiler alert: yes, portrait mode is suitable for… portrait. But why ?
Physiologically, we have a vision that is wider than it is high. With a portrait, we therefore maximize even more attention on the subject by limiting the details of the decor. Generally speaking, portrait mode works well when your subject is longer than it is wide.
To enhance your portrait, the Bokeh effect is particularly popular. To achieve this, position yourself between 1 m and 2 m from your subject and make sure that there is enough distance from the background so that it is well blurred. The portrait mode of the Samsung Galaxy S20 handles it very well! To go further, if your subject is looking into the distance, shift him to the side to provide space in front of his eyes and thus accentuate the guideline.
Play with the guidelines
What is a guideline? It is a line that will guide the gaze of your spectator. A photo has guidelines, more or less explicit: a road, a tree, a lamppost, a particular light, etc. These lines can be horizontal, vertical or diagonal depending on the composition.
With the vertical photo, the disturbing elements located on the left or the right being “removed”, it will be easier for you to play on these lines and thus influence the gaze of your spectator.
Urban or rural landscapes are a perfect source of inspiration, because they have beautiful vertical lines with which you will be able to work your composition. If in doubt, do not hesitate to shoot in vertical and horizontal mode and then sort it in your photo gallery.
Diagonals are popular with photographers. The wide angles accentuate the perspectives even more. The wide-angle of the Galaxy S20 with its x0.5 lens allows you to play with it by highlighting the horizon or your subject. Be careful, however, of the distortion effect if you are too ready and of adding disruptive elements if you are too far away.
Freeze a vertical action
When your subject is moving up and down (or vice versa), choosing portrait mode is a good option. As the movement is prolonged by the gaze, adding space above or below your subject will be simplified when your shot is vertical.
As with any moving photo, blur is not your friend. In practice, stabilize your smartphone and make sure you have good light so that the shutter is released quickly. The speed of your subject and that of the shutter determine the sharpness of your shot.
To maximize your chances, use burst mode and then select the best composition from your photo gallery. With the Galaxy S20, all you have to do is press the shutter button and slide your finger down to activate. Once you get the hang of it, it’s really handy!
As you have already understood, a vertical photo is suitable when it comes to highlighting a person or an object. Its format limits disruptive elements and will therefore naturally be suitable for simple compositions. It is through sobriety that you will succeed in distinguishing yourself and also by limiting the elements that catch the eye.
Whether it is a person, an object or a landscape, the simple composition is distinguished by the space around the subject. To know everything about the rules of the minimalist, find our advice in this dedicated article.
To bring balance and emotion to your photo, two other rules should be known when starting out. They apply in both landscape and portrait mode and can help you make your photo more impactful.
- The rule of thirds: we know it, but we don’t always think about it. The rule is simple. It consists of dividing your photo into 9 parts by drawing 2 equidistant vertical and horizontal lines. These same lines structure your composition and it has been recognized that your subject will be more impactful if it is placed on the strong points (at the intersections of the lines).
It is not always easy to apply this rule when taking; crop your photo in post-production and polish your composition for more impact! Moreover, Samsung natively offers the rule of thirds in its photo editing application when you crop your shot.
- The rule of symmetry: this rule is more restrictive, because it requires more precision and preparation during the shooting. It consists in having a symmetry either vertical or horizontal like a reflection in a mirror. Symmetry can relate to either your subject located in the center of your composition or two subjects that complement each other.
There are as many rules of composition as there are exceptions. They should be seen as principles that define a framework. The choice of portrait or landscape mode therefore does not stop at rules and depends on the emotion or the message you aspire to share.
If in doubt, do not hesitate to test both formats and shoot in high definition to be able to rework your photo in post-production. Now that you know our tips, it’s up to you to adopt them before sharing your photos on your favorite social network!