What is Aspect Ratio in photography? How To Choose It?

Updated on June 11, 2022 in Photography by

What is Aspect Ratio in photography? How To Choose It?

Photography is all about presentation. How you present your images is a key factor as it determines what are emphasizing.

Here, we are discussing the Aspect ratio in photography. An element of photography that play a key role in the presentation of your image.

What is Aspect Ratio in photography?

The aspect ratio in photography is the relation between the width and the height of an image. It is used to represent the dimensions of an image and also tells us how the image will look in terms of square, or rectangle.

To represent an aspect ratio in photography we use a number followed by a colon and then a number. Something like this – 4:3

Here, 4 and 3 shows the ratio between the width and height where the width is 4 unit and the height is 3 unit. Now if you keep the width of your image 200px, the height will be 150px.

Importance of Aspect Ratio

Source – Unsplash

Aspect ratio in photography plays a very important role, especially when you are capturing the image and editing it later.

Choosing the right aspect ratio allows you to frame important elements of your image in the center and gives you the freedom to easily crop the unwanted edges during the edit.

But in case you capture in an image the wrong aspect ratio where important parts of an image are on the edges and now if you want to change the aspect ratio, you might not be able to. If you do, you’ll have to crop out the image which means you’ll lose the elements on the sides.

Above the image was originally set at a 3:2 ratio. But now since we have ample negative space around our main product, we can crop it at a 1:1 ratio. But if the image was originally set at a 1:1 ratio, the new ratio of 1:2 would have cropped the product itself.

Best Aspect Ratio For Photography

Now that we are aware of what aspect ratio in photography is and why is it important, let us learn about the best aspect ratio for photography.

Here, I am sharing some of the most common photography niches and the ratios that fit them the best.

These are not rules but guidelines that you can start with. But if another ratio can do justice to your scene, feel free to try it out.

Landscape photography

Landscape photography aspect ratio

Landscape photography is usually about capturing a wide area that stretches from left to right with ample height. That is why I suggest you use a 3:2 ratio for landscape photography.

It will give you a broad frame which is something that will let capture more area in one frame. 

Product Photography

Product Photography aspect ratio

When it comes to products, the aspect ratio in photography can vary from one product to another. If it is a product that has a long width, like a dining table, you can go ahead with 3:2. But if you have a product with a longer height, the best ratio will be 2:3.

PixelPhant highly suggests you keep the ratio of product images consistent. This enhances your customer experiences and makes your eCommerce look more professional. You can even upload your product images in a 1:1 ratio if you have a variety category and sizes in your product.

Portrait photography

Portrait Photography
Aspect Ratio

For portrait photography, you can choose the ratio to be 3:2. It will give you a good frame and allow you to edit the image with ease. However, if you are taking the photos for social media, it is suggested to keep it 4:5. It is a ratio that Instagram and other popular social media sites crop your image before uploading.

Street photography

Street photography is done to capture street fashion. Now due to the versatility of this niche, you’ll likely switch your ratio between 1:1, 3:2, 4:3, 5:3, 8:5, and 16:9. But if you want to keep it consistent, you can for 3:2.

It will give you a broad frame that you can adjust later during post-production.

Bonus Read

Learning about aspect ratio in photography gives you a good idea of how you want to present your photos. It isn’t something that you might think about regularly, but it is better to be aware of the best aspect ratio in photography rather than cropping the elements of your images.

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