2 comments on “Radical Cropping: How Far Will I Go?

  1. The question of verticals vs. horizontals (portrait vs. landscape) is a fascinating one for me. I’ve been contemplating writing and circulating a web survey which would present a bunch of black rectangles on white backgrounds to the user to select the most comfortable shape for them. They’d pick the most comfortable horizontal and the most comfortable vertical, then pick between those two and a square for an overall favorite. I’m really curious what the results would be. It would also be interesting to correlate those results with the type of camera, computer monitor, and television the user has. Someone must have done a survey like this already somewhere, but I’ve yet to find it…

    When I do the sort of analysis you suggest on my Lightroom catalog, I find that I go as wide as 3:1, but not often. I have a couple at 2.5:1 and 2:1 as well, but the widest “common” ratio I have is about 16:9. I have a lot at 16:9 and 5:8, probably because those ratios are comfortable — we see them a lot on TV and computer monitors, and they’re close to the golden ratio.

    For verticals, though, I’m much closer to square. I have a few at 2:3, but I don’t really like them, they feel awkward. I prefer closer to square, with 4:5 being dominant. I have lots of 4:5 verticals, only a handful of 4:5 horizontals.

    I also have a fair number of perfect squares.

    To be fair, I’m not differentiating between cropping for and cropping into. Some of those 4:5 verticals were cropped that way because they were to be sold as 8×10 or 16×20 prints, but I like them cropped that way.

    I’m eager to see what you find when you look at verticals.

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