The past few weeks have been big news weeks from the Boston bombing to the West, Texas explosion to the usual viral YouTube videos. Most of the coverage has been captured by smartphone cameras and the recent viral hits have highlighted one of my biggest pet peeves – ridiculous vertical videos! Case in point is the West Texas explosion recording that’s been rebroadcast thousands of times. Rarely has such a massive explosion and accident been caught on camera so close but Johnny-on-the-spot just had to film it vertically, grr! I’d love to take off on a rant right about now but I won’t because I’m sure I’ll digress into a putrid name calling tirade, instead I’ll try and politely give some simple advice that though I think should go without saying, it’s evident that it must be said. I can list many examples of why technology is wholly geared to view images, motion or still, in landscape mode but instead I’ll only list the couple of examples where portrait mode is acceptable. The first is the printing of still images and the second is Instagram. Instagram clips images so they will display most effectively in portrait mode on a mobile device. A recent example is Vine a new app released by Twitter that only formats short videos for portrait mode viewing. That’s it folks. Let me ask you, have you ever seen a camcorder turned sideways to film a video? Short of trying to capture some funky special effects angle it’s doubtful you have. The camera lens in a smartphone is only a smaller version of the those used in camcorders and work on the exact same principle. Check out this great parody illustrating this lens limitation. One more thing, forgot to turn your phone once you began recording that video? Please don’t turn your device horizontally midstream and expect the images to flip automatically like they do when engaged within an app. It won’t. You have to stop the video, flip your device horizontally, then began anew else you’ll be filming your own version of the movie Sideways and the title will be more than just an analogy for life.