A Look At 3:1 Crop-Frame Panorama

A Look At 3:1 Crop-Frame Panorama
Click on the image to see the full resolution view as projected with the lightbox

A Look At 3:1 Crop-Frame Panorama

'Image Development - An interesting and fun look at the 3:1 image aspect ratio for crop-frame panoramic images'


Introduction and Overview

Finding that the standard 3:2 or 4:3 aspect ratio in most digital cameras is often limiting, I went on a spree trying out various aspect ratio formats while looking for that 'perfect' crop-frame panorama for me to post a selection of my web images with. The search ended with the 3:1 aspect ratio as I found that this was the most interesting crop for me.

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Two simple reasons for this. Firstly was the ability to split the image into three perfect squares and submit it to my Instagram account as a seamless and swipe-able panoramic image, and secondly, for the real fun part, it has to do with the mobile camera that I was using.


What Is A Crop-Frame Panorama

A crop-frame panorama is a pseudo-panorama of images from a single image frame with the top and bottom areas of the image have been cropped to give the image the 'wide' or 'panoramic' look.

A Look At 3:1 Crop-Frame Panorama, 4:3 native image
The crop technique mimics the panoramic format (in photography) and the widescreen format in cinematography and broadcasting. In photography, the crops may also be applied vertically to give the image a 'tall vertical' orientation.

Cropping a 4:3 aspect image to a 3:1 means that you are throwing out 55.5%, or more than half of the original image. That, admittedly, is a huge chunk off the real estate.

A Look At 3:1 Crop-Frame Panorama
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The 3:1 Image Aspect Ratio

The 3:1 image aspect ratio is one of the formats that grew out of the APS film camera technology. It was known as APS-P (30.2 × 9.5 mm), with the -P denoting the 'Panorama' format. The standard, however, was not strictly adhered to by camera manufacturers, who went with their own variation to what they refer to as a 'panorama' style.

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The Mobile Camera That I Use

The mobile camera that I use, interesting enough, and for the sheer fun of it, was the 5MP rear-facing camera of the circa 2011 Nokia Asha 300 candy-bar feature phone.

Nokia Asha 300
A vintage feature phone at best, its camera is fitted with a fixed-focus F2.4 lens, and as I cannot find more information on it, I am assuming that the lens is an equivalent of a 28mm lens on the full-frame, or thereabouts.

I am using the phone only for its camera function, it has served me well, giving me very sharp and clear images when used in bright daylight, as you can see with the images posted here. Images in colorful low-light conditions, though noisy, can be equally exciting.

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Image Sizing and Post-Processing

I felt that the images, captured at 2592 x 1999 pixels, do have the right proportions for the crop. It may have to do with the images captured with the fixed-focus F2.4 lens having just the right field of view and depth of field. The lens on the camera is capable of bringing a scene into a view due to simply being wide while showing less perceived distortion when capturing landscape images.

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The 3:1 crop reduces the image size to 2592 x 864 pixels. I did the crop as well as nominal edits with Auto Tone Correction, Brightness & Contrast, and Unsharp Mask on Olympus Viewer 3 (OV3) while the final polishing for web prints was done on Google NIK Color Efex Pro 4 with the Pro Contrast filter.


Winding Up

All the panorama images here, aside from the side illustration images, are posted at their full 2592 x 864-pixel resolution. Use the lightbox facility of your browser to view them (by clicking on the image) as they were captured on the Nokia Asha 300.

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As I have a few more assignments planned for the Nokia, it looks as though the fun will drag on for some time to come and the pleasure of using the camera heightened. Here's hoping that you are doing just as well.



Resource Links:
Aspect Ratios in Landscape Photography
Rectangle, Square, or Panorama? How to crop your photo? | Learn Photography by Zoner Photo Studio

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