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08-14-2018, 11:54 AM   #1
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How to take photo's for wide resolution? (e.g 3:1)

Hi everyone - need some help ....

So my wife has her own small business and I'm kind of the official photographer for various events and adverts, etc. She has a small animal veterinary practice so the subject matter is usually cats and dogs. We have several of each so lots of models available.

I'm also the person that updates the website and on our front page we have a 'slider' that has images that are 1920 x 600, also facebook has a banner resolution of 851 x 315 ....

We always try to use our own photo's where possible, but getting good pictures with that resolution in mind is actually really difficult (well for me anyway - usually I end up chopping off heads / feet). If I step back or zoom out so that there is a lot of cropping space the photo's never look as good as they could (not sharp, etc).

I'm obviously happy to buy a new lense if that will help, though I suspect it's my technique

Thanks for reading.

08-14-2018, 12:03 PM - 1 Like   #2
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Think in terms of the ratio of the images you need then frame and shoot them so you get the best fit rather than framing first for 3:2 and then belatedly cropping to the ratio you need.

Both of those ratios are closer to 3:1 than 3:2. One strategy is to place the subjects in the center of the frame vertically and ensure they don't exceed halfway to the edge either up or down. This gives you a little wiggle room in cropping. Then fill nearly side to side but leave a little space. Doing this will get you shots that fit the format you need.

If you find your going over the imaginary lines too much try using only the bottom or top half of the frame. It may be easier at first to judge.
08-14-2018, 12:36 PM - 3 Likes   #3
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Or put some painters tape on your LCD and shoot in live view.
08-14-2018, 12:50 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by sqrrl Quote
Or put some painters tape on your LCD and shoot in live view.
That also works. With gridlines enabled it is probably pretty easy to avoid adding tape once you get the hang of it but yes this approach (or a cardboard frame you can hold up over the lcd would work.

08-14-2018, 12:59 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by sqrrl Quote
Or put some painters tape on your LCD and shoot in live view.
This is actually a great idea - it works very well indeed.

Some time ago, I set myself a project of shooting only in 1:1 aspect ratio using my K-3. I had difficulty in visualising the square on my screen when composing, so I put tape over the left and right portions of the screen so that I was left with (more-or-less) a square in the middle. It worked wonders and made composition so much easier

Last edited by BigMackCam; 08-14-2018 at 03:09 PM.
08-14-2018, 03:03 PM   #6
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Maybe ask your wife to refocus her veterinary practice on snakes, alligators, and other elongated creatures that fit the 3:1 format

If you have trouble getting a good 3:1 animal photo, remember that two separate 3:2 photos pasted side-by-side become a 3:1 pane. Stick a dog photo on one side and a cat on the other.
08-14-2018, 07:30 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by woodworm Quote
I'm also the person that updates the website and on our front page we have a 'slider' that has images that are 1920 x 600, also facebook has a banner resolution of 851 x 315 ....

We always try to use our own photo's where possible, but getting good pictures with that resolution in mind is actually really difficult (well for me anyway - usually I end up chopping off heads / feet). If I step back or zoom out so that there is a lot of cropping space the photo's never look as good as they could (not sharp, etc).
Those images are tiny compared with the number of pixels in any Pentax camera.

It is possible to (say) take a photo where the subject only fills about a quarter of the frame, then crop in post-processing and downsize dramatically to those image sizes, with results that should be very sharp if the image was captured properly.

If the image is captured, with plenty of cropping space, as well as any Pentax camera can do, this sounds like a problem in post-processing.

But ... trying to use an 851 x 315 image as a banner will look bad on any decent sized screen. For example, the screen I'm using at the moment is 2560 pixels wide. If the image gets upsized to fit, it will look unsharp.

08-14-2018, 11:19 PM   #8
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Thank you for all the suggestions - will definately try the tape / live view idea.

I think my problem is that I 'forget' what I'm going to be using the photo for so end up filling the frame / bad composition so using tape will stop me from drifting off subject!

Barry - I don't use images that resolution on the website, that's Facebooks banner size and I don't have a lot of control over that. Though I normally make video's for that anyway.
08-15-2018, 12:21 AM   #9
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If you need a continuous 3:1 and donít want to crop excessively, you could try two or three successive landscape pictures overlapping, and then stitch them. This works well for landscapes as you get max resolution, but I appreciate that it might be difficult for rapidly moving cats and dogs!
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