The photographer has the power when it comes to deciding on the main direction of the photograph. Making the decision to take a picture horizontal, vertical, or asymmetrical can completely change the meaning and feel of a photograph. While vertical images are harder to work with they tend to be more visually appealing. The vertical lines can make an image more dynamic, powerful, and exciting in comparison to horizontal photos. While vertical images may be more eye catching, most everything in our society is horizontal; computer screens, TV, camera screens, etc. Horizontal arrangements of photographs tend to “suggest calmness, tranquility, and rest.”(101)
While it may seem like your only options when taking a photo are horizontal and vertical, another way to add an interesting affect is to take a photograph slightly asymmetrical. “Two sides of the screen seem structurally unequal.” (109) Off centering your main focus in the frame (like a person or example) can easily make a photo asymmetrical.
Here are some examples of Horizontal, Vertical, and Asymmetrical photos used in Slideshows: