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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos RAW, Post Processing & Printing 
Thread started 04 Nov 2015 (Wednesday) 07:04
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Print aspect ratios

 
chauncey
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Nov 04, 2015 07:04 |  #1

I have this penchant for photomerging to increase potential print sizes, often over 36 inches.

I like the dramatic effect of the square crop, but I wonder about the practicality of it regarding
the overall design aspect of square prints hanging on one's wall.

Might I be better served by creating a different aspect ratio?


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patrick ­ j
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Nov 04, 2015 07:59 |  #2

It's all personal preference, isn't it? Plus you are sometimes cropping the photo to get rid of something and the square format is what you may end up with. That said, I like the 3 by 2 aspect ratio that comes out of the camera best. Seems to be something a little more pleasing to my eye about the rectangular format versus square format.


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gonzogolf
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Nov 04, 2015 08:21 |  #3

If you are shooting for yourself, then pick what you like. But don't expect clients to love the restrictions imposed by the square format. Some subjects lend themselves to other aspect ratios. You also have to consider how prints are displayed in a home. A single square print hanging over a couch might not fill the space over a couch on a wide wall in the way a wide or even panorama might.




  
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Luckless
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Nov 05, 2015 09:51 |  #4

I'm a strong believer in focusing on art as part of a whole design for a space. I've seen a lot of great images that are wonderful to look at, but would never hang on a wall in my home because they simply wouldn't work in any of the spaces I have.

Sometimes a tall skinny image works, sometimes a short wide panorama is best for a space. In general I find most of the "Rules of image proportion and composition" simply don't work in many of the real world every day spaces in which you might display art in a home. Being able to stay flexible with things can make for a far more enjoyable end result.

Some scenes are more flexible in what kind of framing they can be captured in than others, so it can pay to keep a flexible framing in mind when you're capturing, especially if you're already doing composite setups. Capturing at 2x3 can often let you drop down to a 1x1 from the same source image, but it tends to be a lot harder to get a workable image from it if you try to frame at more extreme aspect ratios.


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PhotosGuy
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Nov 05, 2015 11:00 |  #5

chauncey wrote in post #17771898 (external link)
Might I be better served by creating a different aspect ratio?

Maybe, but I don't think that there's a "one size fits all" format.
I frame so that all the important info fills the frame as much as possible, but in the back of my mind is the 'image' of how I'll crop the final image or print.
For prints, I never crop to fit a frame! Crop the shot as it should be cropped to make the subject look it's best, & then use a mat to cover the "excess" space.
A mat & frame also help isolate the image from the usual white walls that they're hung on, & can make a big difference in how it looks. I usually prefer black or dark gray as the forum images are shown when you click on the eyeglasses. Don't they look better against that gray than they do at the first look? Why? Because a white mat makes the image look darker & duller than it really is. dark gray & black let the true colors & contrast to show through.

Take a look at POST #30 near the bottom of page #2: The gray bar at the center is the same density all the way across. See how it affects the gray bar image?
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sandpiper
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Nov 05, 2015 11:44 |  #6

PhotosGuy wrote in post #17773272 (external link)
For prints, I never crop to fit a frame! Crop the shot as it should be cropped to make the subject look it's best, & then use a mat to cover the "excess" space.

This is how I work as well, I have no standard aspect ratio as I use the one where the image looks best. Like PhotosGuy I prefer a dark mat and generally use a 20x16 inch black mat with a white core, as the prints are typically used for entering in Salons and exhibitions where that size is a standard requirement, the colour is my preference and I may use a different coloured mat occasionally, when it suits the image better.

My images are printed at 3:2 ratio, generally 18x12 inches, but the final displayed aspect ratio can be almost anything as I cut an aperture specifically for the image I am mounting, with the mat hiding the excess area of the print.

I don't see how we can advise on the aspect ratio you use without knowing what the image looks like. A square, 1:1, format will work well with some images but not with others. My only advice would be to use what best suits the image you are dealing with.




  
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gonzogolf
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Nov 05, 2015 12:00 |  #7

If you do portraits cropping to fit an aspect ratio is more important than in other disciplines.




  
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Wilt
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Nov 05, 2015 23:01 |  #8

At times, fitting the composition to the aspect ratio of the camera makes good sense. OTOH, at other times, fitting the aspect ratio of the print to best present the ideal captured composition makes even more sense. And sometimes we really need to plan the composition of the print, and shoot a frame which is NOT best befitting the final print.

For example, a headshot might best fit a 8x10 ...but we hold a dSLR in our hands and it has a 2:3 aspect ratio. So we fit the head into the short dimension of the dSLR frame area, we ignore how much of the portrait sitter's dress bodice shows up in the long dimension of the frame area, then we print to 8"x10" (4:5) aspect ratio. But if the portrait sitter wants a 5"x7" print to give to granny for her mantlepiece, we print to a 5:7 aspect.

Another example, we see a shot while travelling, and take the photo. As shot, a lot of distracting elements are included in the dSLR frame with its 2:3 aspect ratio. If we mere cut off some of the distractions in both the foreground and some of the blown out area in the sky we have fewer distractions from the main subject and key elements of the background that we want, but it fits a 1:2 aspect ratio which fits no standard frame sizes or mattes. But the ideal composition fits within 1:2 aspect ratio, so we cut a custom matte to fit the 1:2 photo into a semi-custom frame using standard segment lengths (e.g. 30" horizontal x 14" vertical)

Simply printing to the same aspect ratio as the camera might be the wrong thing to do.
Simply printing to standard aspect ratio of commercially available print sizes might be the wrong thing to do.
Simply printing to 'best suit the composition' might be the right thing to do, even if the print size is oddball and it forces the use of a custom matte and semi-custom frame.


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chauncey
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Nov 06, 2015 06:46 |  #9

Communication is not my strong point so let me ask this a different way...
lets assume that you're creating large floral images to sell at one of those local art shows and that your prints are metal.
Those metal prints are not cheap...selling them is important.

During the initial shoot and PP, what aspect ratio should you have in the back of your mind?


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Wilt
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Post edited over 3 years ago by Wilt. (3 edits in all)
     
Nov 06, 2015 09:38 |  #10

chauncey wrote in post #17774128 (external link)
Communication is not my strong point so let me ask this a different way...
lets assume that you're creating large floral images to sell at one of those local art shows and that your prints are metal.
Those metal prints are not cheap...selling them is important.

During the initial shoot and PP, what aspect ratio should you have in the back of your mind?

If selling the print is tantamount, I will strive for BEST COMPOSITION every time!!! Make a print, and cut it down or matte it... to best suit the composition.

It does not matter if I shot it on 1:1 or 2:3 or 3:4 or 4:5 or 6:7 or 6:8 aspect ratio camera, I would frame the subject in a manner which provides flexibilty of choice of aspect ratio.


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Nov 06, 2015 11:26 |  #11

Wilt wrote in post #17774271 (external link)
If selling the print is tantamount, I will strive for BEST COMPOSITION every time!!! Make a print, and cut it down or matte it... to best suit the composition.

It does not matter if I shot it on 1:1 or 2:3 or 3:4 or 4:5 or 6:7 or 6:8 aspect ratio camera, I would frame the subject in a manner which provides flexibilty of choice of aspect ratio.

absolutely.

I stick to 2x3 or 5x7 when I am processing hundreds of images for web viewing. Outside of that I am open for whatever works for the individual image.


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sandpiper
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Nov 08, 2015 14:06 |  #12

chauncey wrote in post #17774128 (external link)
Communication is not my strong point so let me ask this a different way...
lets assume that you're creating large floral images to sell at one of those local art shows and that your prints are metal.
Those metal prints are not cheap...selling them is important.

During the initial shoot and PP, what aspect ratio should you have in the back of your mind?

Whatever provides the best composition, as the others have said above. When selling prints you should provide them to fit standard frame sizes, as it can put buyers off if they are going to have to mess about having it custom framed, particularly as it will generally end up costing them more. That does not mean that the image needs to fit standard aspect ratios though.

My prints are normally mounted to fit a 20x16 frame but the mats are cut with apertures to suit each individual image.

As I said above, there is no way we can tell you what aspect ratio your image will look best at, without seeing the image, as every image is different and the best aspect ratio will be different from shot to shot.




  
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Print aspect ratios
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