How and why to choose and change aspect ratio

What is aspect ratio?

Aspect ratio indicates the ratio between the height and the width of a photo. Some common ratios are 1:1, 3:2, 4:3 and 16:9. Your camera usually has a standard aspect ratio of 3:2, and your smartphone probably uses 4:3. 16:9 is used for panorama photos and is common for video. 1:1 is a square photo. You can imagine that using a different ratio affects your image, as it changes the shape of the photo. Choosing a wider shape means more room to fit in important leading lines, or more room for negative space. Choosing a narrow shape might mean a chance to get rid of annoying items in the photo or putting more focus on the subject. In the video below, Anne gives a few examples to show you the differences.

In short: a ratio of 3:2 means the width is 2/3 of the height. It doesn't say anything about the size in inches.

How to choose a print size and ratio

Once you've chosen a ratio for your photo and your composition is finished, you'll want to choose a print size for your Xpozer. The recommended print size is dependent on the amount of pixels in your file. If your photo doesn't have many pixels, you couldn't print it on a big Xpozer, because it wouldn't be sharp.

Different ratios, same photo

Same photo, 3:2 and 1:1 ratios. In the second photo, we miss the leading line along the road. 

These are the most important tips highlighted for you:

  • Shoot in the ratio you'll want to use and you'll get the best possible quality. That's because you won't need to crop afterwards. Cropping means removing pixels!
  • Make sure all composition elements are intact when cropping. Removing important parts of the composition could mess up your photo's balance.
  • When ordering your photo on Xpozer, you can decide on a size based on the ratio. Make sure that your photo has enough pixels to fill the entire Xpozer without losing quality. Choose Xpozer size >

Click to find out how to calculate your photo's ratio ↓

Step 1. Find out the resolution

Calculate the ratio of your photo using the photo’s resolution. Find the resolution of your photo on a Windows computer by right-clicking on the photo file and then scrolling down to Properties (on a Mac scroll down to Get Info). Under Details (More Info on a Mac) you’ll see the photo's size in pixels.

Step 2, the calculation:

width in pixels ÷ height in pixels = ?

If the answer is not an integer (number without comma), multiply it by a different number until it is. These two numbers (the number you used to multiply it and the final total) form the ratio of the photo.

Example 1: 

  • Your photo is 4966px by 3312px
  • Divide 4966 by 3312 = 1.5
  • Multiply 1.5 by to get a whole number (1.5 X 23)
  • Your photo’s ratio is 3:2

Example 2: 

  • Your photo is 4416 x 3312 px
  • 4416 divided by 3312 = 1.3
  • Multiply 1.3 by to get close to a whole number(1.3 x 3= approx. 4)
  • Your photo’s ratio is 4:3

If you've shot your photo and you're unsure which ratio it has, click the link above to learn all about it. Done? Now you know which Xpozer sizes you can order! The last step before ordering your photo on Xpozer:

Find out which dimensions to choose for your particular photo file with this handy guide >

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