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What is Aspect Ratio?

When deciding the correct size for your photos on canvas, it is important to understand exactly what is meant by the term aspect ratio. Put in the simplest terms possible, aspect ratio of a shape refers to the ratio of the longer side to the shorter side. For example, a standard movie theater uses a screen that has an aspect ration of 1.85 to 1. The screen is 1.85 times wider than it is tall.

While on the surface this seems to be quite simple, aspect ratio conversion can become confusing. To use the movie theater example, the films with an aspect ratio of 1.85 to 1 would not fit on a standard television set, which has an aspect ratio of 1.37 to 1. In this case the film is often altered, with the sides being trimmed to fit the screen. If the sides of the picture were not trimmed, then the film would be kept in its original aspect ration and simply shrunk, leaving black rectangles on the top and bottom of the screen to fill in the empty space.

Here it should be mentioned that there are two standard types of picture, a Landscape and a Portrait. These terms originate from the types of content common in each picture, but you donít have to have a close up of a face in a Portrait photograph. A Portrait photograph is simply one in which the height of the picture is greater than the width. These pictures were given the term Portrait because we associate a taller picture with a human form. Likewise, a Landscape is one where the width is greater than the height. This is due to the fact that we associate a widely framed picture with a country side or other geographical landscape. However, of course, a landscape picture need not be an actual photo of a landscape.

Finding the correct aspect ratio for a single photograph can be tricky, especially with the variety of sizes offered at Photos Printed on Canvas. A standard photo today is 4x6, or four inches tall by six inches wide. That would be an aspect ratio of 1.5 to 1.

To accurately expand your photo, you must choose a size canvas with an aspect ratio similar to 1.5 to 1. For example, if your chose to have your canvas print printed at 12x12 inches, you would have the same problem that television stations had when trying to show feature films. Your photo would either be cropped, given black bars on either side, or worse, completely distorted; stretched and squished to fit the correct size. Instead, choosing an 8x12 or 12x18 canvas print size would perfectly fit the photo and require no cropping or adjustment.

At Photos Printed on Canvas, we strive to offer you a wide variety of canvas sizes to help give you the best product possible.

Written by: A. Faia

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