Horizontal vs Vertical Composition

For any of you who follow my personal Facebook Page, you would be familiar with my “behind the scenes” photos of my camera setup at a location. Every now and then you would have noticed that occasionally I have a second camera hanging off the side of my tripod with a Manfrotto Superclamp. That smaller second camera, at the time of writing this, is the Fujifilm X-A1..

Occasionally I get approached and asked the same question, “Why two cameras?”

Well to answer that question for everyone who might be curious, I’m going to explain it now. Every camera is different.. Some saturate reds more than others, some have a greater dynamic range than others, some have higher resolution than others etc. I will go into greater detail about all these differences in another post, and how different my two camera’s are, but right now I want to talk about the biggest reason of all that I have two cameras set up on the same scene. And that is to have a Horizontal, AND a vertical composition of the same image.

Side by side at the bay of fires..

Side by side at the bay of fires..

I don’t setup two cameras for every shot I take, it’s usually only when I come across a scene where I set up and remain static the whole time. Photographing the same image the entire way through a sunset into the blue hour for example.  I will always setup my main camera with the composition I think will work best, then I will take my second camera and set that up with the opposite, just in case!

A great example of this is to the right and below, when I setup to photograph the Princes Bridge, with some of the Melbourne skyline in the background. I had my Nikon locked down in the horizontal format, and the Fuji in the vertical format. From there, because I knew I wasn’t going to be moving around, I could jump between the two cameras making sure I captured all the perfect moments for a blend later in post.

The advantage to doing this is it gives me options later. I could realise after importing all my photos that the alternate composition actually looks better after all, and had I not setup my second camera, I would never have got it. I might publish the horizontal and then get asked if I have a vertical version to be printed for example. This might be rare, but at least I have the options.

Over the years I’m sure I will experiment a bit more with using to cameras. Maybe zoom in further on one camera to capture one element of the scene, or even set the second camera up on another tripod for a completely different shot. Regardless of how I have it set, I’m always doubling my chances of coming away with a portfolio image.. and that’s the ultimate goal!

The cameras just needed a beer after all their hard work! ;-)

The cameras just needed a beer after all their hard work! ;-)

Got any further questions on the subject? Leave me a comment or send me an email through the contact page! For now I will leave you with the two final versions of the image I captured on that particular night.. Enjoy :-)

Captured with the Fujifilm X-A1

Captured with the Fujifilm X-A1

Captured with the Nikon D800e

Captured with the Nikon D800e