Holding Your Camera Housing Orientation

Hold your camera housing in a landscape format. Now turn it 90 degrees into a portrait. Which way did you turn it?

Clockwise or anticlockwise? It matters not, but we all have a preference. I turn my housing anticlockwise most of the time.

Why does this matter?

Well, if you have a flash mounted on the left side of your camera, as with the majority of designs, you will notice the flash is now underneath the camera and knocking against your knees.

Orientation of this nature is a personal thing, but you have to consider flashgun placement. If using one flash, I usually have it attached to the right-hand side of my housing so that when I turn into a vertical the flash is still positioned above the camera. For this reason, I have a flash shoe on each of the four corners of my housing to provide flexibility of flash placement in either format. The preferred compositional format can change in an instant, particularly with a moving subject;that's why it's essential to configure your housing to cope with instant alterations of format.

I notice with some the habit to shoot only in landscape format. This occurs because camera housings are comfortable to hold and ergonomically designed to be held in a landscape format.

One participant of a photo workshop had difficulty using his housing/camera in a vertical/portrait format. Whenever I forced a 'vertical format' upon him, he would soon lapse back into an unadventurous horizontal grip. There was nothing else I could do except remove the right-hand side hand-grip from his Subal housing. Whilst extreme, it did the trick and he quickly had to find a way of holding the camera differently. The problem was solved in no time by holding it vertically, with one finger on the shutter and both hands cupped around the housing body. We reattached the grip to his housing for the next dive!

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