Few days ago I found myself a little astonished while printing some photos. Nowadays it's not so common to print photos: everyone take tons of pictures but at the end of the day at least half of them go into the trash and… well, the remaining go into a folder that will never be opened again. So, I was trying to find a nice way to crop my photos, because I had to choose between two major formats (4:3 and 5:4) but it wasn't so simple. Whenever I cropped the image, a face or an object was cutted out of the picture. So annoying.
Nevertheless, the picture looks gorgeous on my MacBook's display, it perfectly fills the space. I'm not used to shot in portrait mode with my reflex (i.e. when you shot a picture vertically). If you try to use a picture in portrait mode as wallpaper it's an absolute shit, because it has these empty spaces on the left and on the right. So, I always shot picture in landscape mode. Why? Because I'm not used to think out of my 16:10 MacBook's display, and this means that many of my photos aren't good for printing.
When using Instagram, you've probably noticed that the picture are squared. On the iPhone's display the images look great, they're perfect on Instagram's timeline; but have you ever tried to use squared images? Difficult to print and also difficult to use as wallpaper. Ben Brooks has written:
"There’s a lot that is great about the square crop, but it’s also not a very useable image crop. You rarely see frames for square crops, and your displays are rectangular."
Same as before: we're not used to think out of our 3:2 timelines.
Have you ever seen people filming with their iPhone (or other smartphone) in portrait mode? I've seen a lots. Yes, on the iPhone's display the videos look good but then, when you go at home and import them on the computer, all these videos look as they really are: really narrow with these black spaces on the sides. "Dammit!". Why? Another time: we're not used to think out of the 3:2 iPhone's display. The video you've filmed looks shitty on the Mac's display, but also on TV's display and it's not really usable: the file is going directly into a forgotten folder (or into the trash).
So, what's the problem? It's simple: We're not used to think out of the display. We always shot pictures based on how the image looks like on the display we're using and not thinking about the way we'll use that video or photo in the future. So, which is the effect? Lots of nice pictures (and videos), not really usable, that we forget in our folders.
"I simply find that every time I take a good shot in portrait, there isn’t much I can do with that shot that I actually want to do with it. It’s doubly annoying for square images. They can look great, but then what the hell do I do with a square image? I looks great on my iPhone screen, but outside of that it just looks like: where did the rest of the picture go?"