Aspect Ratio (symbols)

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by Julie H, Jul 1, 2017.

  1. It gives a dolly zoom effect seeing them together like that. The first one is more like when you're walking towards the scene, the second one is when you're already there.
  2. Yes, she's stretched out a bit in the 4:5 image, less hunching over.
  3. This reminds me of the time I watched 2001: A Space Odyssey, and I didn't realize that my television was showing it at the wrong aspect ratio until I saw the sun, moon, planets, and HAL as ovals.
    Phil S likes this.
  4. And yet, in the second image, don't you think the slope of the street seems to feel more burdensome the farther away it gets?
  5. To differentiate still photography from the living moving world is to render it dead. The still image is always in relation to the moving image and vice versa because how could it not be?!
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2017
  6. Phil,
    First of all, I don't want to imply that still images have no relationship to moving images, but that one is distinct from the other.

    One thing having a relation to another thing doesn't mean the two things are the same or even close. We (I) acknowledge the relationship still photos often have to life, while recognizing their unique perspective and distinction from the real things they originate from. A still photo can depict a distinct moving world, but the notion of movement is dependent on imagination and perception. So, the aspect ratio can assist in that perception and make the picture 'lively'. Whereas in movies, I often tend to imagine myself in the middle of the action or living through the events in a more matter of fact way. Therefore, an aspect ratio thats more closed in (as opposed to widescreen which is my natural vision) takes away from that liveliness. I am not even sure whether everyone feels that way.
  7. I don't know. Being thrown in the middle of the action (which I love as much as anyone when sitting in a movie theater) sounds more like the typical Hollywood movie than it being an inherent characteristic of film or of the moving image vs. still photography.
  8. I agree that was a blanket statement and not all movies work like that. But if not 'middle of action', as a spectator even, who is watching behind the 'fourth wall', the wide aspect ratio makes the actions more realistic to me. This doesn't happen to me while looking at still photos, where the notion of liveliness is not that dependent on the aspect ratio as it is in movies. For example, a still street shot in portrait mode doesn't feel claustrophobic to me, but a movie of the same scene shot in portrait mode does (like all the phone movies). Thats not to say I am only looking for action or realism in movies. I can enjoy a lot of other things in movies, like color palette, contrast, film grain, perspective, costume, sound, many of which are less dependent on aspect ratio.
  9. Off topic but the monologue in JCVD is a great 'breaking the fourth wall'. The film also being about Jean-Claude Van Damme's waning status as a Hollywood action movie star. The scene goes against the fiction that is Hollywood and the movies in general.

    Last edited: Jul 7, 2017
  10. Another example of 3:2 compared to 4:5.


  11. It's really amazing to me how different they are. I find it so interesting to "feel" my different reaction, one to the other of the two sizes. (Been sitting here roll/scrolling up and down for about ten minutes.)
  12. Arnheim may gild the lily in communicating his visual perception analyses, but the essence of what he says is I think valuable. None of it will make you a better photographer, unless you understand the contribution of framing (sometimes only minor, compared to other visual elements) and work with the qualities of that and the other compositional and emotive elements.

    Perhaps the more important characteristic is symmetry versus asymmetry. Some prefer the first, others (myself for one) the second. Beauty can only be seen, I believe, in the presence of mild or strong disequilibrium.
  13. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    Holy Cow! Just when I was thinking I'd heard it all!
  14. Bezsonnitza, tvoy vzor oonyl i strashen;
    lubov moya, otstoopnika prostee.
    Vladimir Nabokov
  15. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    Google will translate, but it isn't worth the effort. Obscurity -- the last defense!
  16. What human consciousness and all life strives for is balance, whether it comes through symmetry or asymmetry. If Beauty equals balance, then yes, it can only manifest itself and really mean something in the presence of its opposite or imbalance, and be not only an aesthetic but also an act of commitment to one and not the other. If Beauty equals imbalance it can only constitute indifference and forever be without any meaning.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2017
  17. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    And all the way back to late 3 rd century Persia -- Manichaeism! Who knew!
  18. I don't think beauty = balance, because if it did those two words would be synonyms . . . and they're not. These days, I'm thinking more and more in common and plain English. I think there's beauty in both imbalance and balance. Beauty is neither of those things but can be found in each of them.

    Much great art uses balance, so I don't think imbalance is required for beauty. Here are just a few of the many, many examples one could find of the beauty of symmetry and balance.





    Many of the works of M.C. Escher

    I, too, appreciate and often love imbalance and asymmetry. Thankfully, I don't feel I have to choose between balance and imbalance and I like it when artists put those two in tension or counterpoint.
  19. I try to compose when I'm shooting to the format presented in my camera viewfinder - either 2:3 or 6:7. That's a habit from my 35mm slide days. Today when I edit for a print or individual picture on the internet, I freely adjust the crop to what looks best to my eyes. A tweak here and there helps. The composition defines the crop.

    The exception is when I'm on vacation or at a party and plan to do a "slide show". Then, I'll keep all the pictures to one format, even 16:9 if I'm showing it on my HDTV. The consistent look really looks better for a slide show.

    I haven't tried a coffee table book yet. What are your thoughts with formatting/cropping pictures there?

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