Ok, just about the only complaint we ever get about our reprint images is how they are cropped. We recently had a small issue with one of my favorite clients and I explained everything to her, and then asked if I could use her image as an example to share with the class. I will do my best to demonstrate cropping, ratios and hot dog buns.
Back when we shot 35mm film, we had the same issue as we are having now with our state of the art digital cameras. The negative, and now digital file has a ratio of 2:3. For every 2 inches the print goes in one direction, it needs to go 3 in the other. That's why 4x6 prints are a popular size for small frames and proofs. The trouble arises when someone orders an 8x10. It is not the correct ratio. A full frame print with the proper ratio would be 8x12, but good luck finding an 8x12 standard frame. The do sell them, but they are hard to find and not available in as many styles as 8x10 frames. It really drives me nuts as a photographer. It's like why do you get 10 hot dogs in a package, and only 8 buns. Go figure!
Here are a few images to help illustrate my point and hopefully others will be able to understand what I am talking about.
Here is a full frame 4x6 print, uncropped in any way (just resized for the web):
Here is a 5x7 crop, which on this particular shot, isn't bad, but notice there's less room on the top:
Now, here's the 8x10 crop, notice we have no room above the head and the hands are also cropped. To me, and the client, this was unacceptable:
What are the options? Basically we can either crop the image as shown above, you can order an 8x12 and get a custom frame (which would have the same ratio as the 4x6 above), or you can make a 6x9 inch print and float it on an 8x10 piece of photo paper as shown below:
with a sloppy border (the outer black line won't show in the print, its just to show the separation from the edge of the print and the blog background, same with the keyline image below):
with a keyline border:
Those are the only options. If we just resize the image as a different client suggested in the past, we'd get this. This is the entire image resized to 8x10:
I hope that makes sense. The new version of our online shopping cart which will also be done very soon will do a better job explaining the cropping and print size ratios.
Posted: Thu - June 29, 2006 at 05:46 PM