Thursday, September 16, 2010

Stretching the frame (I) - thoughts on 16:9 aspect ratio

Olympus E-P2 + Panasonic Lumix 20/1.7

After getting free from the tyranny of the camera’s native format (4:3), I felt curious about trying other aspect ratios besides 1:1. So I’ve been experimenting with 16:9, the widest format available in the E-P2's live-view mode. It is more horizontally biased than 3:2 – used for most DSLR sensors - but not quite as extreme as “true” panoramic formats like 3:1. It has however been neglected and even despised by many photographers, maybe because it is associated to wide-screen (and more recently high-definition) television/video, a less noble visual art form than photography…

But let me try to demonstrate, along a few posts, that 16:9 may be worthy of some attention. And I’m not just talking about landscape panoramas!

For all three photos shown here I found that 16:9 worked better than 4:3 or 1:1. Unnecessary information at the top and bottom is eliminated and the horizontal arrangement of the key elements in the image becomes the determinant factor for composition.

Stay with me, more examples will follow...

Olympus E-P2 + Zeiss Sonnar 135/2.8 + extension tube

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