Why are people still making vertical videos?

I was watching Ridiculousness and saw several vertical videos which set me off on my favorite tirade of recent years: “Are people really so stupid that they’ve been making the same mistake for a full decade now? Turn the phone/camera 90 degrees counter-clockwise before recording!”

And then it occurred to me: maybe there is a benefit to shooting video that way. But for the life of me I can’t figure out what that benefit might be.

So I’m putting the question to you folks: is there an intelligent reason to hold the phone vertically while shooting video or is there a frightening number of village idiots running around without a lick of sense in their heads?

It’s easier to hold a phone vertically, and it’s easier to use the video controls that way.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. People do it because it’s easier to hold the phone that way. I can shoot a vertical video holding the phone in one hand while still being able to see what’s on the screen and use my thumb to push buttons. If I hold the phone horizontal, I’ve got to use both hands, or I can’t see what’s on the screen or I can’t push buttons or I hit buttons accidentally trying to grip the phone.

I understand why people prefer watching horizontal videos, but when you don’t want to hold the phone with both hands, vertical is easier.

Also, let’s be honest, the vast majority of videos that are taken on phones aren’t going to be displayed on any device other than phone…if they’re ever even watched again. The chance that a video someone took will end up going viral and getting millions of views is so tiny, they really not thinking about how the final product will look.

It’s becoming more and more common to view videos on a phone, especially on social media. A vertical format video is a better fit, because most people hold the phone vertically when using social media apps.

What would it take to add a software switch to a phone camera that orients video and photos to landscape no matter which way the camera is held?

Or is the photo sensor not square?

Not really.

Yes and yes.

If I’m scrolling through a social app and want to watch a video, it makes sense for it to be oriented the way I’m already holding my phone.

Sure, if that same video is on my TV, all the wasted space will be glaringly obvious… but who really expects their cell-phone videos to end up on TV?

I’ll sometimes do vertical when the subject I want to capture fits naturally into a vertical frame. For example, recording a person’s face and what they are doing with their hands on a table.

What usually bothers me about vertical videos is what is done to make them fit on a horizontal screen. Just use black bars and be done with it for TV. I don’t want to see fuzzed copies of the video to either side. And for online consumption don’t do anything so I can reorient my device. The worst are videos that are reframed so they’re wrong regardless of the orientation.

Well if it’s on Pornhub, it’s because they’re usually holding something else in the other hand.

Well, people are vertical. If I want to take a picture of someone from the shoulders up, or two people embracing, or a talking head, the vertical framing works better than horizontal. Who wants a lot of space on both sides of a glam shot? All you get is the photobombing dog taking a dump off to the side.

As far as action sequences and landscapes, sure…horizontal is a better choice.

Why do people still want new media to conform to the standards of cinema?

Because cinema is like that for a reason? People’s eyes are horizontal. The vast majority of interest in a scene is arranged horizontally. Moving objects tend to be seen moving horizontally or not at all (if moving toward or away from the camera). There are good reasons to film vertically but people don’t normally do it because of good reasons, they do it because they either don’t know any better or it’s convenient.

Well, I guess I can only speak for myself, but my iPhone camera is easy for me to use one-handed vertically, and basically unusable one-handed horizontally. And I much prefer to take pictures and video in landscape, so I wish it weren’t this way.

If your two eyes are mounted in your face vertically, then videos should be vertical. Or we all have to go around with heads tilted 90 degrees. Hollywood makes movies horizontal because that’s the way humans are made.

If vertical video is so natural, why do so many display programs duplicate parts of the image, blurred, on either side?

This would be relevant if we watched these videos on a screen big enough to fill up our field of view. But many of us don’t. We watch them on handheld phones.

Snapchat and Facebook don’t do that, and I believe Youtube stopped doing it (or at least you can turn off that feature).

Amen! That’s some ocular-migraine-inducing shit…a crime against vision!

16 posts and no one linked to this?

The REAL question is, what sort of savage eats their soft boiled eggs from the wide end of the egg?

I’m a horizontal kind of guy, myself. No other reason that it’s reminiscent of holding an actual camera. I’ve tried to be young and take a vertical picture, but it’s just easier to stabilize the gadget with one hand while the other finds the “take a picture” button.

We have always, and shall continue to, break our eggs on the big end.

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Most of the vertical videos I see are spontaneous and/or filmed in a way not to call attention to the fact they are filming. It will be a concerts, a fight, or an animal doing something funny. Both seem to apply to the types of videos I’d expect on the modern version of America’s Funniest Home Videos.

I do accept that this is because most apps and webpages are designed to be vertical, due to how phones were used back when they were just phones. However, it seems to me that any well-designed video or photo app would be able to put the controls in a place that would be easy to hold sideways. They can tell which side they are held on simply by assuming it’s the side without the camera.