4:3 Frame composition

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by TheMenWhoDrawSheeps, Jun 17, 2016.

  1. TheMenWhoDrawSheeps

    TheMenWhoDrawSheeps Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 15, 2016
    After shooting 5 years in 3:2 i find it quite different composing in 4:3 aspect ratio. My keeper rate dropped quite a bit, and I was wondering, if anyone experiencing the same thing?
    Is there a secret golden rule for mft composition?)

    Sent from my D5503 using Mu-43 app
  2. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Legend

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I don't think there's a "secret", it really just comes down to the type of subjects you shoot and what framing looks best.

    FWIW, a lot of times I'll typically crop my images down to 3:2, simply because I prefer the aspect ratio and think it looks better for a lot of the shots I take. When cropping a 16MP m43 sensor down to 3:2, you're still working with about 14MP, so it's not a huge loss.
  3. I find 4:3 preferable for portrait orientation. For landscape orientation I often go for 7:5, 3:2 or even 16:9 to fit the image. As mentioned, not a big loss.
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  4. Gary5

    Gary5 Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jan 15, 2014
    Almost every shot I take is some kind of portrait, so 4:3 is usually easier. I only switch to 3:2 if I need it to fit two or more subjects. Anyway, I agree with this from The Photographer's Eye:

  5. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    It comes down to what you're used to and what you like. FWIW, the 4:3 aspect ratio is much closer to traditional print ratios such as 11x14 and 8x10 than 3:2. Since I print and frame pictures, 4:3 is an advantage for off the shelf frames, but I'm in a very small minority these days.
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  6. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    I find I am most comfortable with 4:3 for general shooting because it's what I've used most in my life (compact cameras, then M4/3, only some 35mm film before that), but I find I adapt pretty quickly to the frame that I'm shooting, and I end up optimizing my images to fill the space, such that unintentional cropping (i.e. when forced to a printed page aspect ratio) is really awkward.

    I also really enjoy the even wider 5:4 frame from my 6x7 medium format camera, even for landscape images. It feels very naturalistic, somehow. Maybe it's just the look of the negatives, but it's rare that I feel restricted by the ~45mm (35mm equivalent) FoV @ 5:4.

    I do enjoy 3:2 with my DSLR these days for landscapes, but I really dislike it for portrait orientation shots. I use that orientation a lot less with the Pentax than with my M4/3 cameras because I find the composition is much more awkward.

    Usually if I want a wider aspect ratio it's because it's some sweeping vista, so I find I'm often better off doing a series of portrait shots and doing a stitched panorama. More detail and as wide an FoV as I want that way...
  7. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    I crop nearly all my pictures one way or another so don't really care.
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  8. Wisertime

    Wisertime Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2013
    Agree. Depends on subject. 4/3 is better for portraiture, macro, some nature, flowers, but I like 3:2 for landscapes more than half the time. I just crop accordingly.
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  9. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    I try to set up my composition when I take the photo, so any cropping that changes aspect ratio tends to mess things up from a composition standpoint. I have found that most of my gator shots look better in 3:2 because of their shape, so I have started to shoot them knowing I will crop to 3:2.

    Overall most wildlife (my primary shooting) looks better in the 4:3 ratio. It allows a bit more context of the environment then 1:1 (probably my favorite aspect ratio), while allowing the animal to really fill up the frame. Where as 3:2 tends to make animal smaller in frame but allowing more of the environment in frame.
  10. AgentMichaelScarn

    AgentMichaelScarn Mu-43 Regular

    May 27, 2016
    3:2 for 4x6/(edit) 20x30 prints (1.5), 7:5 for 5x7 prints (1.4), and 5:4 for 8x10/16x20 prints (1.25).

    4:3 (1.33) is between 7:5 and 5:4 so it takes less crop to reach the other aspect ratios. Just leave some room on the edges for the crop.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2016
  11. ionian

    ionian Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 20, 2016
    Kent, UK
    I've shot 3:2 for ages but would often crop to 7:5 for contextual portraits - 4:3 is also a good ration for this style I find. I actually prefer narrower for landscape (depending on the scene of course) - 16:9 or 16:10 are my usual crops. I usually frame in camera to crop the image so I have maximum flexibility in post, and 4:3 works well for this.
  12. AgentMichaelScarn

    AgentMichaelScarn Mu-43 Regular

    May 27, 2016
    Oh yeah, if you shoot RAW + JPEG and change the aspect ratio to your intended crop, the RAW should still be in 4:3 right?
  13. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Legend

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Just as a heads up, a 30x20 print is a 1.5x aspect ratio, not 1.25x as you mentioned in your post.
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  14. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Legend

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    For Olympus, yes. For Panasonic, no.
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  15. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    I usually crop to 3:2 also, as I think it is more aesthetically pleasing, and as was mentioned, the 3:2 ratio imposes more of a framing effect on the image than 4:3 does. But it's always nice to have the extra pixels in case I want to crop differently than I saw it in the field. As far as composing, I think once you really get used to it, you will compose with future crop in mind and stop noticing the difference.
  16. Tilman Paulin

    Tilman Paulin Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 10, 2013
    Looks like everybody has a different preference, which is to be expected :-D

    I quite like the 4:3 ratio.
    - For portrait orientation it's no question at all. (3:2 feels too narrow to me in portrait).
    - For landscape orientation it allows me to include a bit more of the foreground (giving the shot a bit more depth)

    But ultimately it's a matter of preference, practice - and most of all, what the subject requires (or how you want to show it).
  17. Carbonman

    Carbonman Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jul 10, 2014
    Vancouver BC
    I have m43 prints in 4:3 (20 x 15), 1:1 (20 x 20) and 3:2 (30 x 20). It depends on the composition and subject matter. I've shot film with 35mm, 120/220 in 6 x 6 and 645, 4 x 5 sheet and line camera up to 54" wide sheet. That experience and a ton of darkroom work pretty much eliminated any bias regarding print ratios.
  18. MarkRyan

    MarkRyan Instagram: @MRSallee Subscribing Member

    May 3, 2013
    About 75-80% of my shots are in portrait orientation. IMO, 3:4 is significantly more useful than 2:3. I think the 3:2 ratio of my Ricoh GR was subconsciously a big part of my hesitance to shoot with it, and ultimately why I sold it.

    For landscape orientation, I don't have a strong preference between the two ratios.
  19. Bruce McL

    Bruce McL Mu-43 Veteran

    With 3:2 in landscape I usually look for a secondary subject or scenery off to one side to give the image context and contrast. With 4:3 I don't do that. Of course what is around the subject is still important, and I'm not putting the subject directly in the center of the image, but for me there is one less thing to think about shooting 4:3. It took me a while to realize this and get used to it after starting with 3:2.
  20. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    I agree with previous comments. I went from 4:3 to 3:2 and the again to 4:3 cameras. At first I used to keep the m43 camera in 3:2 format for landscape orientation that I find more interesting for composition: you have "more space" to place things. Eventually I gave up and today I shoot 4:3 except for wide panoramas and I do not really notice much difference.
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