How a photographer orients their camera can have surprising effects on the finished product of a photograph. That sounds like an obvious statement yet most people never move their photos beyond portrait or landscape compositions. But once one realizes that photographs can be oriented however one wants, a whole new world of art can be opened up.
Let’s take Patrick’s photo above. Rather than simply composing the shot as a regular landscape shot, he set the escalator’s handlebar as the plane of the photo. This small change suddenly makes all the people look as if they are carrying or pulling heavy loads. Combined with the grim black and white treatment, it really does look like they are enduring some sort of punishment. If we imagine what this shot would look like with a typical orientation it would lose much of its interest.