Aspect Ratios

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Aspect Ratios

Postby Wolfsong » Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:35 am

Was filling out an order last night when an odd thought came to mind...

Let me start by saying I am not a pro photographer and never plan on being one. I do what I do cause I love it and have a never ending passion for it and if someone along the way finds one of my pics interesting I will sell it to them but I don't go out of my way to get a pic for someone of something they want. I may have bent that rule this summer a bit by accepting some work for some pics but I still don't plan on going out of my way to get the pics but I do see the animals a lot and am pretty sure I will get what they need. Anyways...

Last year I sold just over 150 prints and about 20 pics to magazines and book writers and it clicked in yesterday not one was set to what is considered a common aspect ratio. When I crop my pics I do so for what look the best in my opinion and don't base it on a ratio set out by someone. I guess that would be useful for potrait/wedding photographers and others but for wildlife I really have never thought about setting my pics to a classic aspect ratio. Maybe if I were asked to do post cards I might but even there I would probably just sell my pic as is and let them do with it as they want. The pictures I have sold to magazines have been the same... they pick the pic I sell it with no consideration of aspect ratios and in almost all cases they just wrap the text as need be to make everything fit.

Am I just wacked or anyone else do this?

Btw.. when I sell a print I give the option of selling it framed and matted. I get it done by a local crafter and it seems to work well. Over 50% of the ones I sold last year I sold framed but even when ppl order the print without it being framed I have never once been questioned or later recieved any grief from someone worried bout a custom frame job.

So.. how often do you all follow classic aspect ratios. I got a wierd feeling I'm gonna be the black sheep in this case.
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Postby Mal » Fri Jan 28, 2011 8:24 pm

To be honest for a long while I had never thought about aspect ratios. I always like you cropped the picture to what I thought was best(if it needed cropping of course).

But when I set out to prepare for a gallery I did in November and one in December, I had about 50 pictures, 30 of them I was editing with the gallery in mind and quickly realized that I can't crop them like I had done before, as they were all going to be printed to fit into standard sized frames. We were hoping to sell a few, 16x12 and A4 being the most popular. We couldn't afford to put them into odd sized frames and print sizes, so I cropped them to the standard aspect ratios(is there even one).

My point is though that the 20 or so other pictures that I had of my previous work, I had to redo, as a lot of them were all odd aspect ratios. And this really changed the look of most of the pictures.

I think after that I've decided that unless a picture definitely requires an odd crop size, I am best keeping the aspect ratio the same.

Hope that made sense. :lol:
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Postby Trevor Harris » Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:25 pm

Mal: I'm like you. I don't constrain myself to a specific aspect ratio - I do what looks best. For posting online, sure, that works. However, if I were to print, I'd revisit the photo and decide to either go with a custom frame or with a typical ratio. The magnitude of what I loose by changing the ratio, I balance against the added cost and decide from there.

For client work, not that I have done any, but I would be inclined to include photos cropped (I'd rather crop than someone else) for the standard ratios that they would likely want. I'd then give a copy of the "what looks best" aspect ratio and indicate that it's for posting online only.

Just an additional thought... A problem with supplying a "what looks best" ratio is your signature - if you usually include one. You then run the risk of the client either cropping it all, or worse, part of it out of the photo.
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