Does Size Matter?
Bajadreamer was in Spain recently and got a spectacular picture of a Black Kite (below).
He posed a question for us to ponder in the Description portion of his entry (click the picture above to read the whole entry). As you can see in the picture he did not crop it to one of the “traditional” photo sizes of 4 X 6, 5 X 7, or 8 X 10. His photo is a non-traditional 8.6 X 18. He asks, “How important is the aspect ratio to you? I am thinking of having this printed on canvas as a ‘panorama type’ scene.“
Because he is planning to print the picture on canvas there are a couple of considerations that come to mind. First, no you are not bound to a particular length X width size. That being said, make sure the printer of the canvas is able to provide a non-traditional size print (quality printers will be able to do this). Then figure in the sides of the canvas if it is to be mounted on a board or other base that has some depth to it. I recently had some canvas pictures mounted on a box that was 1 1/4″ thick, so the picture I submitted had to have 1 1/4″ border around it; if I hadn’t important elements of the photograph would have been printed around the edge or side . In the case of Bajadreamer’s pic might clip off the wingtips he so carefully reconstructed. The extra border is less a problem if it is going to be mounted flat on foam board or other flat surface, but there will still be some of the outside edge of the image lost beneath the frame or matte.
Another consideration is the space the final picture will occupy. If the space doesn’t fit the final size, it doesn’t really matter what size it’s printed, it won’t look good on the wall. I often cut out pieces of newspaper the exact size of the final picture and tape it to the wall. Then I can step back and see if it will look good in that space.
Finally, and perhaps more to his question, how does the bird look within the size canvas it will be printed on? I think Bajadreamer did an excellent job cropping the picture. I like how the bird is not centered vertically but a little higher – this gives the bird more of a feeling of flight. There is space both above and below the kite so it doesn’t feel constrained. If he wanted to play with it a little more to see if it can be improved, he could try exposing more of the grasses below – I really like the texture of the grasses in the shot. It wouldn’t take much to make the canvas a 9 X 18 by reducing the crop on the bottom. Another thing try before finalizing is to shift the whole bird to the right until the eye is dead-center. This will bring the wings on the right side closer to the edge than on the left, making it look off-center, but the eyes in the exact center may overcome this by becoming even more prominent. The off-center look in BIF pictures often help give the image the appearance of motion.
I want to congratulate Bajadreamer for creating this amazing shot and throwing his question about size out there. I hope he sends a picture of the final product on the wall for us all to appreciate. If you have any comments regarding his question or just want to tell him you like his pic, click the image above and enter your thoughts in the Comments section (must be logged in to do so).
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