Aspect Ratio – Defined

Royalty Free Stock Images

Aspect Ratio is based on the relation of the width and height of an image. The numbers in an Aspect Ratio are displayed with the width first, then the height.

For example: A typical widescreen TV or monitor has an aspect ratio of 16:9, it is also the ratio for iPhone video.

Your display, in simple terms, could be 16” wide, by 9” tall. Most TV’s are larger than that, so it could measure out to 32”x18”, which would still have the same width:height ratio as 16:9

Meercat 16:9
Cropped to an Aspect Ratio of 16:9

In photography it works the same way. The more common Aspect Ratio is 3:2, found most in film and DSLR cameras

This is the ratio for the following print sizes without cropping:

  • Wallet
  • 4×6”
  • 8×12”
  • 12×18”
Meercat 3:2
Cropped to an Aspect Ratio of 3:2

Another common Aspect Ratio is 4:3, which is the ratio for most camera phones, and Micro Four Thirds cameras.

This is the ratio for the following print sizes without cropping:

  • 4-1/2”x6”
  • 6×8”
  • 12×16”
Meercat 4:3
Cropped to an Aspect Ratio of 4:3

So, if you ever wonder why all of your photos you take on your phone need to be cropped when getting 4×6” prints, now you know.

Back in the days of Medium Format cameras 1:1 was a popular ratio. That has reemerged again today with the smart phone app Instagram.

The is the ratio for the following print sizes without cropping:

  • 5×5”
  • 6×6”
  • 8×8”
  • 10×10”
Meercat 1:1
Cropped to an Aspect Ratio of 1:1

You will notice that with each Aspect Ratio change you lose, or gain, more of the scene. Keep this in mind when composing and planing your photo.

If you have any questions, or would like me to expand this, please comment below!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small monetary reimbursement if you make a purchase using this link.

Royalty Free Stock Images

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s