Aspect Ratios Often Times Enhance Perspectives.

June 08, 2024  •  Leave a Comment

During image composition most modern camera's  systems offer a variety of aspect rations that can really be a useful tool when creating a photograph. The question always seems to be what aspect to use when doing landscapes or wildlife. Expanding on that, portraits and events can also be questionable when deciding on how a photographer wants a composition to look.

There is no right answer and the topic is as subjective as photography itself. So much of this does in fact depend on the lens you use and the focal length being employed. 

As a rule and depending on genre, I generally shoot in a 3x4, or 4X3 for most compositions, but when I do landscape and use a wide angle I often use a 16x9 aspect. This aspect proves itself to be very handy when doing landscapes especially when I do a vertical panorama. This ratio allows for a very wide scenic capture and in the future I intend on capturing an image from a location I recently scouted out as I am pretty sure it will offer me a great composition. 

I recently took some images I shot in a 3x4 aspect and during editing I changed the crop to a 1x1. I can't say I hate how the images turned out with the 1x1. 

Here is a look. 

CINE BELLCINE BELLBluebells captured in a 1x1 aspect ratio. Intimate mom 1x1 cropIntimate moments Edited imaged in a 1x1 aspect ratio

Focused subject in a 1x1 format Red bellied woodpecker Red Bellied woodpecker using a 1x1 aspect ratio

One thing to note when using a 1x1 aspect is the ability to center your subject and this allows ratio does allow the subject to be centered within the composition. 

Some thoughts regarding. It is always better to compose in camera but this can be difficult when you are not certain just how you want to present your composition and it will come down to a commitment as you frame your images. If your intent is to put a strong focus on the subject the 1x1 ratio is clearly the best choice, but if uncertain is abroad I would simply suggest a 4x3 and you can easily crop in post. Just be aware that anytime you crop you do loose part of your overall composition and enlarging the focus on your subject with overall image resolution and quality has to be considered. 

My opinion is simply to state that placing the subject in the center of the frame does offer a different perspective on compositions and you shouldn't rule out any options that could offer a unique perspective on your compositions. 

I would be interested to hear thoughts on the topic, so please feel free to leave a comment, suggestion or your perspective on aspect ratio's. 

Thank you for reading and may you always find the light. 



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