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Nature's Image Photography Workshops and Tours

ASPECT RATIO: MY PREFERRED CHOICES

December 2021

Aspect Ratio refers to the length x width dimensions of a photo. Most cameras shoot in a 3×2 format, meaning the shape is the same as an old-fashioned colour slide or negative from back in our film days. Three across, two down.

My Lumix G9 shoots in a less traditional 4 x 3 format – four across, three down. But you will hardly ever see a landscape photo from me shown in that format. Almost any ‘horizontal’ image I show you is cropped, and usually to 3 x 2. It might be the product of decades of working with 3 x 2 film, but the aspect ratio of my camera looks just a little too ‘fat’ for my taste.

So instead of this…

 

I will show you this.

 

I honestly can’t tell you if it’s better. It may just be purely personal preference. But if my composition is built around strong horizontal features, that longer rectangle works much better to my eye.

You may also notice in the last two years I have been displaying a lot of photos in an even longer 16 x 9 format, like the version at the top of this tip page. And here’s another example:

That’s because I have been producing so many YouTube videos, and the native YouTube format is 16 x 9: the shape of a smartphone or a wide-screen TV. So for practical purposes it suits me to go with the wider format.

But there are exceptions to every rule. The 3 x 2 format doesn’t appeal to me so much when I show my photos vertically, as with many of my portraits. So instead of this:

I much prefer this.

For vertical photos, the old standard 3 x 2 format now seems a bit too ‘skinny.’ So it has become my habit to stick with the native 4 x 3 format of the G9.

What’s the point of all this? Well maybe there isn’t one. I certainly can’t say there is a definitive ‘right or wrong’ on the matter of aspect ratio. But perhaps this tip will get you thinking about the shape of your images. And if you have only ever stuck with the original format of your camera, maybe it’s time to realise there are other options, and think about how to make them work for you.

 

TOURS

NULLARBOR AND EYRE PENINSULA PHOTOGRAPHY TOUR 2022

March 4, 2022 - March 15, 2022
11 Days photography tour with Andrew Goodall and Sacred Earth Safaris

GREAT MIGRATION PHOTOGRAPHY TOUR – TANZANIA 2022

June 5, 2021 - June 14, 2022
10 day photography tour with Andrew Goodall and Bushbaby Safaris

WESTERN AUSTRALIA WILDFLOWERS PHOTOGRAPHY TOUR AUGUST-SEPTEMBER 2022

August 28, 2022 - September 10, 2022
11 days outback photography tour with Andrew Goodall and Sacred Earth Safaris

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