Horizontal or vertical? The most common mistake while handling cameras

Horizontal or vertical? The most common mistake while handling cameras

24/11/2021 By: Alejandro del Estal Home

How do you usually take thermal images with your camera, in a horizontal or vertical position? In today’s post we will talk about the importance of the thermal camera position. Without a doubt, among the 7 common mistakes that usually occur in the learning process in thermography, this is the most frequent.

This error occurs when trying to analyze an image that was taken incorrectly. As an example, in figure 1, we can see an image that should be taken horizontally, the soles of the feet, but taken vertically. It is important to pay especial attention to this position because otherwise the automatic recognition of the software will not process the thermal information contained in the images.

horizontal vertical thermography camera
Figure 1. Example of a horizontal protocol where the image is taken vertically, causing the automatic segmentation to be incorrect.

This is why it is so important to keep this in mind, but first of all, it is necessary to describe what a vertical or horizontal thermography is. We refer to the aspect ratio between width and height. It will be vertical if it is taller than it is wide and, consequently, it will be horizontal, if it is wider than it is tall. Figure 2 shows an example of a horizontal (left) and a vertical thermography (right).

horizontal vertical thermography camera
Figure 2. Aspect ratio of thermal images. On the left, an example of a horizontal thermography. On the right, an example of a vertical thermography.

Horizontal and vertical protocol

In order to know which of the two positions is the correct one, we must look at the protocol that we want to analyze. Thus, half-body protocols will always be taken vertically, while specific protocols, horizontally. In figure 3, the protocols that are automatically analyzed by the ThermoHuman software are shown, divided into vertical and horizontal. Therefore, to analyze the temperature of the skin of the trunk and the legs, we will place the camera vertically. On the other hand, the image will be horizontal if what we want is to analyze specific regions, such as chest (only for women profiles), hands, knees and soles of the feet.

horizontal vertical thermography camera
Figure 3. All protocols that can be quantitatively and automatically analyzed by ThermoHuman software, divided into those that must be taken horizontally (left) or vertically (right).

Physical handling of the camera

To finish this brief explanation, we only need to bring this to reality, that is, to the physical handling of the cameras. We will have to always look at the width x height to take the image horizontally or vertically, but each camera format has its peculiarities. Figure 4 summarizes the different ways to hold a camera to do both horizontal and vertical protocols.

horizontal vertical thermography camera
Figure 4. Summary of the most common formats of thermal imaging cameras and their specific physical handling in each type of protocol.

Practical applications on the position of the camera

As a practical learning, you should take with you that to analyze quantitatively through the ThermoHuman software, it is necessary to take the image with the correct camera position and protocol. In this way, all the automatic processes of the software, such as contour recognition, segmentation and data extraction and analysis, will be carried out under conditions of the highest quality. This means that we can ensure that the thermal information obtained allows us to draw conclusions both in its sports and clinical applications.


If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us. We will be delighted to read you.

Europa Thermohuman ThermoHuman has had the support of the Funds of the European Union and the Community of Madrid through the Operational Programme on Youth Employment. Likewise, ThermoHuman within the framework of the Export Initiation Program of ICEX NEXT, had the support of ICEX and the co-financing of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).