As photographers, one of the most important challenges for us is to continue to change how we see and to stretch our creativity. One of the ways to do that is to pick specific parameters and then to make a body of work that fits within those parameters. It might be to shoot only one subject, to shoot only in grayscale (B&W), to make an image every day… In the film days, most people’s relationships to photography revolved around a few aspect ratios: 2×3 (4×6), 4×5 (8×10), 5×7, etc. With some older cameras we also had 1:1 square prints, usually from 120, 127 or 620 film. With digital photography we’re not so limited, although some of the same rules apply when we get to printing. Movies (and now video) have always embraced wider frames, although there was no one standard aspect ratio. We have movies made in 1.78:1 (16×9) out to 2.4:1 (22×9) and beyond. Outside the movie theatre, for the average person 16:10/ 16:9 showed up in their lives with the first widescreen computer monitors and digital TVs.
When we updated the theme for our blog recently, our header images needed to be created at 4:1. As we covered in our recent post Cell Phones, HDR and Panoramas, in photography a panoramic image is one with a wide aspect ratio and a panorama refers to an image made from multiple, overlapping exposures. Not all panoramas are panoramic in aspect ratio. However, going through our catalogue of images looking for those that might be appropriate for header images brought me to question what might fit into that 4:1 frame. Panoramic images usually depict broad skylines, often shot with wide-angle lenses, like this:
But looking through the images got me wondering what else might work. Maybe something closer, but still panoramic in nature, like this:
Closer still, perhaps?
How close could I get and still make an image that fit the frame?
How about a single flower?”
Or a small patch of winter leaves?
Not every image works of course, but I’ve added another tool I can use to expand my vision. I still make panoramic images like this:
But now I’m also likely to look at something like a hood ornament at a car show in a different light.
One never knows where it might lead! With what creative projects are you currently involved? Leave us a comment and let us know… 🙂
Okay, that’s it for now. Go out and make some photographs!!
P.S. We now have 40+ images comprising our Headers collection. They’re set to load randomly, so you’ll have to keep checking different posts/pages to see them all! 🙂