In the current age of vertical content and social media, almost all photos are cropped to fit a 4x5 aspect ratio. It makes sense, 4x5 is the tallest ratio that Instagram allows. Since we consume most of our media on our phones, a vertical scrolling interface, a 4x5 photo will take up the most real estate on our screen. Twitter’s mobile app favors vertical photos in a similar way, although less drastically.
While this has encouraged creative cropping of photos to fit the 4x5 standard, the loss of variety and creativity with other aspect ratios can get boring. Sometimes, simply cropping a photo in a certain way can lead to tremendously more impactful images. Now, cropping is really just a way of post-processing what’s in your frame by cutting things out. It’s still important to accomplish as much as you can compositionally in-camera (when you actually take the picture) as opposed to attempting to “fix it in post.” But cropping in the edit allows you to push the boundaries in ways you just can’t in-camera.​​​​​​​
Sometimes it's just removing unwanted elements, and other times it's emphasizing symmetry or framing. Trying out different aspect ratios, especially ultra-wides or ultra-verticals, are some of my favorite things to mess around with. Don't be afraid to rotate the image for something out of the box either. It's all about challenging and pushing the (literal) boundaries.
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