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Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by PENpal, Feb 29, 2012.
Is there a norm/standard when to use the appropriate image aspect?
The aspect ratio of an image should compliment the composition. For an image where you want to emphasize the width and draw the viewer's eye left to right (or up and down), a wider aspect ratio will be preferable than the standard 4:3 which creates a more static look and is closer to a square composition. You still need to consider how the image is to be displayed. If you want to print and display in an 8x10 frame for example, that is the aspect ratio you are stuck with
Or in the other direction... if you want to stretch the image across the banner of a website, or use it in a two-page spread.
Most standard print stock is 5:4 aspect, which isn't far off from 4:3.
Medium Format is often 4:3 (ie, 6 x 4.5) and large format is often 5:4 (ie, 8x10). So these ratios have a deeper history to them. 3:2 aspect became popular with consumer photography when the 135 double-frame format was created by joining two 35mm video frames together. This is why the most common print size for 3:2 aspect is the old 4x6", as it is the most popular for consumer snapshots. Olympus went back to the single frame concept at 4:3 aspect with their original Pen camera, then again with Four-Thirds digital.
Thank you both and what an awesome group we have!
I am in a dilemma. The shops near my office print in 4:3, but my home Sony photo printer 3:2
You don't have to print to the full size of the paper. You can print whatever aspect ratio you like, but you will have unused paper, probably of different widths, on the sides.
Choose your aspect ratio based on the image, then print to whatever size you can manage with that aspect ratio on the paper you're using. Trim the borders to suit afterwards.
it wasnt that simple for me. Give you an example below.
Three years back I went to a shop to print photos, they told me that they only print in 3:2 as that's the most current format at that time. Hence, I had to crop away the top and bottom to make it fit. That was difficult as I shoot tightly on my subjects and thus some heads/hair were cropped.
And shortly after I bought the sony printer which supports 3:2 as well. Therefore I always remember to shoot in 3:2 since that was my perceived standard format.
Now only did I realise that the popular shop in my country prints in 4:3 and they asked me to crop away the sides. My original photo was a group shot which I managed to squeeze everyone into the ultra-wide angle. So you imagine how tight the photo is, and where should I crop now?
Add borders to the top and bottom.
Note that if you shoot any m43 camera other than the GH1 or GH2 changing the aspect ratio in camera does nothing but crop some of the pixels out. If doing that in camera helps you visualize the picture better, that's fine, but otherwise there's no reason not to shoot 4:3 and crop in post processing.
Unless, I suppose, you only use OOC jpegs, and never post process anything.