If you've looked at my Photostream on Flickr recently (here's the link- www.flickr.com/eosKid) you might have noticed that many of my newest images are cropped slightly differently. For these images I changed the crop dimensions to 16:9 inches so they appear longer and thinner- a little like fake panoramas. I've adopted this approach for a couple of reasons, namely because when cropped like this images perfectly match the dimensions of my computer monitor, which is of a widescreen format and this allows me and (since the majority of laptop screens and external monitors have gone wide these days) many others to view my images full screen. This automatically lends them more impact and really can make the viewer feel like they were there, in that scene at the time of shooting.
Cropping to a widescreen format really puts the viewer in the photo
The technique works especially well for landscape shots, because of that panoramic feel (and it’s a landscape you’d usually make a pano of) but I’ve found myself using it in all sorts of situations, including close-up and macro photography. This brings us to the second reason I’ve found for cropping like this- it is an easy way of getting rid of any ‘junk’ in your shots- meaning any distractions in the shots you forgot to compose out when you fired the shutter- since the 16:9 format by nature reduces the amounts of foreground and sky visible and focusses the viewer’s attention on the middle ground of the photo.
Try it and see what you think- it’s helped me bring new life to some photos I’d previously thought weren’t that great.