Part 6: Is A Camera’s Aspect Ratio Important? (Tower Theatre / Retro Oklahoma City)

Does aspect ratio really matter? I mean, you can just crop images to any aspect you’d like in post-production, right? I mentioned previously that I used three different cameras in this personal photography project. One of the reasons why I did so was to study how a camera’s aspect ratio affects composition and therefore, the artistic quality of an image.

The cameras I used have the roughly following aspect ratios (length : width).

  • Nikon D700:  4:6
  • Rolleicord:  1:1
  • iPhone 4:  3:4

Consider this scene:

Tower Theatre (iPhone 4, no filters)

Tower Theatre (iPhone 4 + Instagram Filter)

Tower Theatre (Full-Frame D700)

Tower Theatre (Rolleicord / Medium Format / 120 Film)

In this scene, depending on the camera’s aspect:

  • Certain details are included or excluded
  • The viewer’s eye is drawn to different areas
  • Sense of place evolves or devolves
  • Lines of sight change
  • The “story” varies
  • Perspective shifts

I think the camera’s original aspect ratio does matter. Quite a bit. Do you agree? Which is your favorite view?

– HBA

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About Mosaic Collective, LLC

I am Holly Baumann Ambuehl, founding member of Mosaic Collective, LLC, which was founded in early 2017 and is based in Central Illinois. I own and operate Mosaic Collective with my partner in business and life, my husband, Nathan. Mosaic Collective, LLC houses our rental property, my consulting contracts (with the nonprofit and public sectors on various work), and also my commercial and portrait photography business, which has been doing business as Holly Baumann Photography since 2008 long before the formation of our LLC. My blog posts feature client work, but I just love to write, so I also write about owning a business, food and drink, travel, and sometimes, my personal life! I am always honored when clients trust me to capture their vision, and equally so when my readers converse with me about what I've photographed or expressed here. I hope we'll have an opportunity to collaborate professionally and/or become friends. I'd love to hear what you think! - Holly
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