Simplifying Composition - Aspect Ratios

Aspect Ratio: What it is and Why it Matters

The portrait aspect ratio is second for selfies, and landscape is a distant third. The popularity of portrait may be attributed to the orientation which is most comfrtable for holding a phone and pointing it at one's self. Unfortunately we did not have any way of determining which photos were taken with a "selfie stick" though we may be able to compute that based on estimated distance to the subject, and see how selfie stick orientations are distributed. Note that if we exclude mobile phones and look only at devices manufactured by Nikon and Canon, landscape again becomes the dominant format, even for selfies.

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Sun Nov 22, 8: By , they decided to simplify the confusion with a numbering scheme, calling that first format "" and continuing the numbering up from there. Depends on the camera. I've found this is just what suits me and each to their own all the usual caveats etc but I think there are various reasons why I've gone this way: None of them had really used their in-camera live view aspect ratios when out in the field with a view to interpreting and composing a scene differently at the point of capture. An awareness of the characteristics of the aspect ratio of your particular camera can help you compose better images. So frustrating to find square frames in a lot of places

In other words, the 'rectangle' aspect ratio was popular for the past, oh, 5 decades mainly because the vast majority of all consumer film and cameras were set up to handle that particular aspect ratio with some exceptions Along comes digital photography and Then came the smart phone. A camera with an entire computer and editing suite attached. That's when, suddenly, there was no physical restriction to the aspect ratio.

At that point, anything was game and a few key apps leveraged people's natural response to the 'digital' photography decade by using the power of the hand-held computer to make things 'very very analog looking'. The two big players were Instagram and Hipstamatic.

Both leveraged the patina of old film It was a novelty. A bigger question that I have: So frustrating to find square frames in a lot of places Regarding many of the other answers regarding how 1: Point being, that while it's certainly easier for developers and on StackOverflow, we're a crowd that certainly skews towards developers Also remember that for many years when you printed your photos developed from film!

Cropping is easy now as well. Traditional filmmakers film landscape.

Simplifying Composition - Aspect Ratios

But on a phone, people like to shoot it in portrait mode, which makes for a unusual composition. By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service , privacy policy and cookie policy , and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Questions Tags Users Badges Unanswered. Why do people like square photos? Kirill Zotov 1 4 8. This is subjective but also, I think, fascinating and the trend is undeniable. I'd love to see this remain open and see what researched and referenced answers we can get. Also see What historic reasons are there for common aspect ratios?

"Full frame" vs. "crop sensor"

KirillZotov why do you believe this is any more a photography question than a general art question? What difference is there between a photograph and a painting?

Gusdor I'm not sure why you consider the physical shape of a screen and the resulting user decisions to be a software issue. Mobile devices have vertical screens because it's comfortable to hold in the hand. Users choose to crop their photos to squares, whether influenced by screen size or aesthetics.

Any "discarding of data" is being done when the user decides on a square composition. There is no "software issue" in this process. Abdul Quraishi 3, 1 9 Reading this, I'm surprised that I didn't think of "ease of use" immediately. Rotating the image means you can still display it in the same width with no scaling required. Abdul, IMHO this have nothing to do with contemporary technologies. Just remember roll films and cameras which can take on the same format film 4.

Another factor with sites like Instagram is, with a square photo, there's always space for the caption, comments, likes, interaction buttons etc without shrinking the actual photo. Sidebar when landscape, space below when portrait. Instagram's not just about the photos - it's a communications channel. I believe Instagram is the thing causing the increasing trend of square photos.

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It should be noted that the square aspect ratio Instagram uses likely originated as an attempt to evoke the similar shape of a photo from an old Polaroid instant camera, a discontinued but still well-liked product whose photos evoke a pleasant "retro" feeling for many. The reason behind the decision for Instagram to initially use square images can be heard directly from the CEO and co-founder Kevin Systrom in this Quora answer: I posted this in my comment, but here's a surprisingly simple reason: Wayne Werner 1 9 But note there are also many ways around this.

For instance, Flickr has a very nice grid for displaying images of all aspect ratios.

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I agree, though don't agree that was the deciding factor in Instagram and Hipstamatic which didn't even have a web aspect to it. Instead, these were decisions made based on the user experience of the photo taking process. How far back does this data go? I think square photos on social media has more to do with the app than the subject.

We started collecting data in late , and started anew in mid In both datasets there was a very high correlation from the 1: But is that a direct correlation. I have a hunch that the 1: Indirectly, these are the apps people use the most Without a doubt the aspect ratio is directly correlated to the apps being used.

As with any good dataset, we can draw many, many conclusions and "prove" it with the data! No less likely is the chain "Instagram uses 1: I don't think the other answers hit upon this In which case you should pick the aspect ratio that best fits the way you want to frame the picture, so that you get the highest pre-crop resolution possible. When displayed together, I think it often works best to have images of the same aspect ratio. One potential problem is using cropping to nonstandard aspect ratios as a crutch to simplify composition.

In such cases, the aspect ratio often draws attention to itself, and the evident problem works against the photographer. Originally posted by tie: When you lay them out together, having all the pix be the same aspect ratio is awesome. I crop a tiny bit to clean up from scanning the film.

The Art of Using Aspect Ratios in Digital Photography

I try to not crop any more than necessary, though I have been known to crop a bit. I always keep the aspect ratio. Cropping not only reduces resolution, but it also effectively lengthens the lens. Of course, that's a consideration. I don't agree though that odd aspect ratios necessarily draw attention to some 'failing' in the composition - to my mind the framing is entirely subject composition dependent and I'd hate to think how many interesting or good shots would be wasted just because you couldn't frame it at a standard aspect ratio.

Genuine question - is this a bad thing? If they are all the same odd aspect, they'd look ok. Though there are proportions that are considered more beautiful than others, re: I don't feel particularly limited shooting square compositions with my Rolleicord. Very long linear things don't work well in particular but they are something I can't seem to shoot nicely with any camera, so I tend to not care. Depends on your POV.

Other aspect ratios

Shooting very wide angle is quite popular these days. So cropping would defeat that goal. Yet people do it. I tend to use whatever aspect ratio works best for the image and that often means not using normal photographic aspect ratios. Originally posted by Soph: It all depends on what you do when you crop.

If you keeping the longest possible edge in your new aspect ratio i. If you're actually cropping in to the image in addition to changing the aspect ratio then sure. But then you're talking about more than just the aspect ratio. In that case you're using perspective and that's baked in to the image based on subject distances and doesn't change regardless of how you crop. What aspect ratio do you use for photography? Fri Nov 20, 3: Ars Praefectus et Subscriptor.

Fri Nov 20, 4: Fri Nov 20, 5: Fri Nov 20, 7: Fri Nov 20, 8: Fri Nov 20, 9: Sat Nov 21, Sat Nov 21, 1: Sat Nov 21, 2: Sun Nov 22, 1: Sun Nov 22, 4: Sun Nov 22, 9: Sun Nov 22, Sun Nov 22, 5: Sun Nov 22, 8: May 31, Posts: A Truculent Bigot "I revel in scum. Jan 11, Posts: Oct 8, Posts: Sep 16, Posts:

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Buy Simplifying Composition - Aspect Ratios: Read 2 Books Reviews - Amazon. com. And did you know that choosing the wrong camera (and therefore aspect ratio) may impede your development of good composition? Features Adobe Acrobat.