Going Widescreen with Panoramic Crops

These days every thing is going widescreen. Theatres have been widescreen as far back as I can remember. TV’s have been widescreen for a few years now. New computers have gone to a widescreen format too. To me, a wider aspect ratio just looks better.

A few years ago a friend of mine named Bob Boyer had some of his photographs on display at a local art gallery. I went to see his work on display and was so moved by it that I ended up buying a couple of his framed photos. The ones that struck me the most were the four that were panoramic.  It’s Bob’s images that inspire me to occasionally crop my photos into panoramas.

Bob used a special Fuji 3:1 ratio film camera to make his panoramic photographs similar to the one shown here. Most cameras still shoot in a more traditional aspect ratio. So how do you make images that are in the more pleasing widescreen format?

Some photographers take multiple images and combine them together to make amazing panoramic images. I think that’s great but with today’s high megapixel cameras you can make some nice widescreen panoramic images from a single image by simply cropping them. Not all images will work well in a wide-screen setting. The best photos to crop this way are landscapes taken with a wide-angle lens.

Boyer suggests that “Seeing the panoramic view in your mind before making the image will give you a much better image than just randomly grabbing a crop out of a standard frame one shoots before thinking about it.” “One way to practice seeing the panoramic would be to put black gaff tape over the top and bottom thirds of the LCD viewfinder to force you to look for the image before just burning pixels.” That sounds like good advice to me Bob!

Here’s a non-cropped picture from May of 2011 that I made of the Disney Dream docked at Castaway Cay with my waterproof point & shoot.

The Disney Dream at Castaway Cay

The Disney Dream at Castaway Cay

Here’s the same photo only this time I’ve done a crop that gives it a widescreen panoramic aspect ratio.

The Disney Dream at Castaway Cay Wide Screen Crop

You can click on the images to see a larger version of them. Which one do you like better?

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One Response to Going Widescreen with Panoramic Crops

  1. Pingback: More From Aldrich Falls | Phil Thach

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