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What aspect ratio do you crop to??

Discussion in 'General Technical Discussion' started by Flew, Feb 22, 2005.

  1. Flew


    Jan 25, 2005
    Much has been written about the innate symmetry of the 3:2 aspect ratio that is used by both 35mm and most DSLR's. I usually try to maintain that ratio when I crop, in either the landscape or portrait modes.

    From time to time, I have a shot where 3:2 doesn't work for me, and I feel like I'm breaking some magic rule. Does anyone else worry about this or am I just obsessing? What ratios do you normally use on cropped shots?


  2. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    I almost always crop to 4:3

    or something close to that. Unless it's a landscape or something that could benefit from the full frame. Ya right, like I ever did a decent landscape! :roll: Portrait orientation shots are just too tall @3:2, so if I think about it, I'll always leave some room to chop some off the top ;)  .
  3. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl

    Yes I think about it, but don't have a clue.

    Hope someone will or many and give an idea of what crop should be used.

  4. I really have to think when doing portraits in order to leave enough room for a 3:2 crop. Most of the time I don't leave enough. I may start leaving my grid lines on and determine which line is a 3:2 crop line. Other than that I just crop for the most pleasing look on the web.
  5. NeilCam


    Feb 21, 2005
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Depends whether I'm printing or they're just going on the web. If the latter, and that's where far and away most of my stuff goes, then I crop to whatever looks the best (and allows me to chop off the mistakes).

  6. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    Depending on the image, I usually try for 2X3 or square.
  7. Interesting topic. I prefer squarer crops, maybe because I had a torrid affair with a 2 1/4 X 2 1/4 model 30 years ago :lol:. As a result, 4x6s look like panos to me. But, of course, there's no need for a standard crop for web presentation...

    However, since I harbor the vain hope that someone may want to buy a print, I've fallen into the habit of composing and cropping everything for a 5x7 apect ratio... because of framing considerations. It's easy to square up a 5x7 if I need to make an 8x10 or 11x14 print. And the only time I ever print 4x6s is when I need to provide proofs to clients... and those aren't for framing.
  8. joecolson


    Jan 28, 2005
    Cary, NC
    I usually corp to 3x2. I find that as I see more photographs and watch HDTV, the 4x3 ratio just doesn't do it for me. With that said, I have several different crop ratios as presets in PS CS that I use to see what looks best.
  9. Season to taste

    There are several schools of thought with regards to aspect ratio. Consider the fact that people have been creating paintings for much longer than photographs, and that aspect ratios of canvases are selected with consideration for the subject material, without and rather than any consideration for any pre-established standard. Also, consider that this thought has been applied and refined over hundreds and hundreds of years... I'd say that examining paintings by masterful artists is a good way to get a feel for both composition and aspect ratio of "canvas".

    There is another thing to consider. There are several (both technical and aesthetic) reasons for working with what have been called the "Golden Ratios" in some situations. Remember that these were originally developed to yield a room dimension that was both aesthetically beautiful as well as yielding the best acoustics for a rectangular room, but the principles have been applied to a lot of 2D uses.

    0.8 : 1.0 : 1.25
    0.62 : 1.0 : 1.62

    Notice something interesting. Consider the first two ratio set above (0.8:1.0 or 1.0:1.25). Sound like a standard print size to you? (either yields 8x10: when setting 8 equal to 1.0, 1.25 = 10).

    The other ratio-set yields sizes slightly different than the 2:3 that we have been used to with 35mm and digital SLRs (e.g. with 8 set as 1.0, 0.62 yields 5 (5x8), and 1.62 yields 13 (8x13).

    When cropping, I consider the composition.

  10. Larry Gleason

    Larry Gleason

    Jan 26, 2005
    Welcome aboard, Ron! Really glad to see you here. As to your bottom line, I crop to the composition too. The art gallery I work for prefers it since they are also a custom framing business. It precludes unframed standard sizes from being framed using a cheap standard frame purchased in a local discount store.
  11. Flew


    Jan 25, 2005

    Welcome to the Cafe.... :wink:

    For the longest time, I have stuck to the 3:2 ratio, primarily because you made such a strong impression on me in your presentations.... 8)

    Recently I have tried cropping more to the composition, but was just wondering what other good photog's were using. I have found that the 8x10 ratio is a pleasing ratio.


  12. Larry Gleason

    Larry Gleason

    Jan 26, 2005

    8X10 for sure but I have found that working the 12-24 or 14mm, 8X12 (natural to the D1X) has a pleasing look. It really makes wide angle shots shine! Also works for many shots in the higher mm range. I believe that I read once that rectangle shots are more comfortable to the eyes than square shots although there are times when a square may enhance an effect of composition.
  13. Welcome aboard Ron. Glad knowing you joined NikonCafe fine forum.

    My cropping depends mainly on composition.

    When I want to print, I try to crop to the 1.25 ratio since I print 8x10s most of the time. Otherwise, I often find myself using 4:3 and 16:11 ratios (for landscapes). I think TV and films get too much hold on me:) 
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