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Video has become a very important part of our hobby. Documenting the construction of your layout, sharing scenes of your favorite engine, showing off a special structure, and a hundred other things are all ways in which video plays a critical role in the enjoyment of our hobby these days.

I've produced thousands of corporate and special interest videos in my career, starting back in the 70s. As a “video veteran” it has always bothered me to see what has come to be called “Vertical Video.” That is a video scene shot on a smart phone with the phone held vertically. I can understand how this happens, because we hold our phones vertically for almost everything we do when using the phone. But we should never shoot video while holding the phone vertically.

Take a look at the computer screen you are reading this on, or the wide-screen TV in your den, living room, or man cave. That screen is a horizontal screen, not a vertical screen. To use a printing term, the screen is in “landscape” mode, not the vertical “portrait” mode.

Video should always be shot in “landscape” mode, with your phone held horizontally. Why?

Watch this video, and I think you'll get the idea...

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@Tom Tee posted:

How come when I do see a vertical photo in the center third of the shot there is frequently a faded out 1/3 image on either side of the center third??

Because the video editor decided that he can't have just a black screen on either side of the video (HORRORS!) so they expand and blur the vertical video so that something fills the screen on the sides. It's ridiculous.

I am ashamed to see what passes for "professional" video these days. The craft that I learned to respect as a young man has been dumbed down to the point where jump cuts are now OK, vertical video is OK, bad audio is OK, etc.

I am very sad to see what has happened to the profession I was once so proud of. 

OK Rich, ever so slightly off target but do you remember a film made in the 1960's called "How the West Was Won"?  I believe it was the first widespread use of Panavision.  I saw it in Pittsburgh at the Nixon Theatre - an old style movie house with wide screens, balconies, velvet curtains, the whole 9 yards.  The movie was shown with 3 projectors.

There's a scene where the Indians stampede a herd of buffalo through the camp of the railroad workers (building the transcontinental railway).  It's such a terrific effect that you think you are in the middle of the stampede.


Thank you Rich and Marty for this. Working in television for over 40 yrs it absolutely drives me NUTZ to see vertical video like that.  Usually, I don't bother to watch the video and just go on to something else.  YouTube as ruined the entire industry because now anyone with a 1/2 a cell phone can post video that looks bad and sounds bad...AND NO ONE CARES!

I'll get off my soapbox now.  Suffice to say, a lot of people do post videos on here that I do watch and I encourage them to keep up the good work!

Merry Christmas all!


I plead guilty to shooting vertical, at least when shooting my granddaughter. She fits nicely. Since I look at these on my phone and show them to people on my phone, she is larger and easier to see in this format. I suppose if I ever want to make them into a video, I will regret having no horizontal footage. I guess I better start shooting some horizontal format too.

Now trains are another matter and should be shot horizontally.

As you know, film and television were both 4:3 ratio for a long time. 16:9 is not as intimate for close ups as the old Hollywood format. But then filmmaking has changed. Now it's all action and few close ups.

Way back when they were talking about going HD wide screen for TV I was excited and couldn't wait. But NO! Engineering came out with 16:9! What the heck is 16:9. No one shot in 16:9. Most movies are 2:35x1 so to show a widescreen movie you still have to crop the top and bottom. We changed everything in TV, cameras, editing, sound and transmission. Why we didn't go all the way? I was shooting real wide screen with my Bolex camera and anamorphic lens in my twenties. I even had a eight foot curved screen for projection. Don

Last edited by scale rail
@tripleo posted:

Hate to say it, but I think you're fighting a losing battle. Quality is no longer of primary importance.

Convenience has certainly trumped quality in so many ways these days--aside from the vertical video under discussion, we have MP3's vs. "old school" hi fidelity, texting vs. genuine syntax, etc., etc.  

Well, it's official:  I'm a grouchy old man--and get off of my lawn!  

Last edited by Tuscan Jim

YouTube calls a vertical video a “Short Video”

Look for them on your smartphone. Go to your YT Home Screen and scroll down. YT has sold millions of dollars of advertising on these vertical videos and has paid out millions to the YT Creators.

Next year YT has plans to go worldwide with their plans for vertical videos as, “Short Videos”

YT has been testing vertical videos, below is how it looks on my iPhone.

Short Video

Hope this helps. Gary


Images (1)
  • Short Video

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