The Value of the Vertorama

I think I took my first vertorama (vertical panorama) on my iPhone by mistake, flipping my iPhone 90 degrees after clicking “pano” and then just concentrating on keeping that dang arrow from turning off the yellow line (which is difficult for people who have even a mild level of dyslexia). At the time, turning my phone to horizontal seemed to make more sense than holding my phone in a vertical position for wide shot of scenery. Well, the result was not a keeper.

Now that I’ve practiced a bit, I find vertoramas to be more dynamic and often more useful than plain old panorama shots.

Shooting a vertorama on your camera phone is the same as a panorama, only after swiping to “pano” mode, turn your camera to a horizontal position. Androids have a “vertical” option to tap.

Besides just having some fun with image distortion, vertoramas can be useful to:

Emphasize the tallness of something

Actually, a vertorama will overemphasize tallness, but sometimes that helps to make your point. The closer to your subject, the more distortion you will get.

Municipal building facelift, Washington Road.

Look Up

Hold your phone in front of you and pan up and over your head for a dizzying distortion effect (in both your image and most likely in your head).

Christmas lights, Salzburg, Austria

Or look down

Start at your feet and pan up. Fun when you’re somewhere up high and you want to induce vertigo in your viewers.

Troy Hill steps

Foreground is important, too.

Things far away can be beautiful

Nordkette mountain range, Austria

but including what’s at your feet adds depth and texture.

Nordkette mountain range, Austria

Even though most phone cameras offer a comfortable number of size-ratio options for casual photography including the regular pano, try out a tall and skinny vertorama. You may find yourself looking at the world in a whole new way.

Photos by Judy Macoskey

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