People like panoramic photos. They say this is because the human eyes are oriented horizontally, which results in stereoscopic vision…an evolutionary trait. Every living animal on our planet has eyes that are oriented horizontally, which allows them (and us) to see much more of our surroundings. And if we were the hunter, or the hunted, then having the ability to see much more of our surroundings meant we were much more apt to live longer. If eyes were stacked one on top of another vertically we would likely have far greater depth perception, but it also provides a very narrow field of vision.
When televisions became popular, they incorporated a 4:3 (or four-by-three) aspect ratio…for every three inches high, the field of view on the television was 4 inches wide. But then Hollywood and TV studios found out that when they broadcast a movie on TV too much of the scene was cut off on each side. So when the new HDTV standards for TVs was created, a 16:9 (or sixteen-by-nine) aspect ratio was adopted. Computer monitors soon followed suit. Still, some of what a director of a film intended you to see was still lost, because most films were filmed in a 21:9 (or twenty-one-by-nine) aspect ratio. That’s why you are starting to see some new televisions and computer monitors come onto the market using the 21:9 aspect ratio. Are you confused yet?
Some cameras shoot in a 4:3 aspect ratio. These are called “four thirds” cameras. The old 35mm film cameras, which became very popular, and the digital SLR cameras that followed in the last 15 years adopted a 3:2 (or three-by-two) aspect ratio. All of my cameras shoot in a 3:2 aspect ratio. And I have forced myself over the years to shoot using this aspect ratio when making Montana photos because I wanted to take advantage of every pixel just in case it ever needed to be cropped vertically, for example. I tended not to play with panoramic scenes, just because most of my customers (magazines, newspapers, ad agencies, companies) all preferred images with a 3:2 aspect ratio. But, when it comes to fine art prints, many people are drawn to panoramic photos. That’s why you will see some more panoramic photos in the coming months coming from me and my camera.
Below are two examples of my latest panoramic photos. They are photos of a train, a subject that lends itself well to panoramic scenes for obvious reasons. They are now available to buy in my print store. Click on the images below for more details.