Almost all cameras these days are oriented in such a way that the image is captured in the horizontal (also known as landscape) orientation. Due to this many photographs are taken this way even when the subject requires the camera to be turned 90 degrees for vertical (also known as portrait) orientation. Examples of such subjects are standing humans, tail buildings, trees, etc. While there is no rule on what percentage of photographs should be vertical and how many should be horizontal, normally at least 20 percent of your images should be photographed in the vertical orientation. The general guide line is choose portrait orientation if the subject and flow of [he lines are vertical (e.g. trees, tall buildings, standing humans, etc.) Choose landscape orientation if the subject and flow of the lines are horizontal (e.g. reclining humans, streams, mountain ranges, etc.)
If you are in doubt always take photographs in both the orientations and you can select later (see example).
There are two more points that you want to know,
(1) Some D-SLRs are now offering a hand-grip which provide an alternate shutter release that helps taking photographs in vertical orientation. (2) In spite of format itself being called portrait format, many superb landscape photographs have been taken in the portrait orientation. Experiment a bit and you will easily find this out.
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Although we usually tend to think of the digital camera as the best thing since sliced bread, there are both pros and cons with its use. Nothing is available on the market that does not have both a good and a bad side, but the key is to weigh the good against the bad in order to come up with the best of both worlds.