Size matters?

19 Nov 2015

The judge at a recent SPS competition kept referring to some prints as "full size". I wondered what he was on about, and the penny has just dropped.

He criticised one of my projected photos as being "not wide enough". It was a vertical/portrait format photo down an Italian alley. The original file is only a tiny bit wider, so I couldn't have obliged, although I suspect, he'd have been happier if I'd cropped it closer at the top and bottom, to make it shorter.


Reading between the lines, I think the judge isn't happy with the limitations of projectors. They usually present images in a 4:3 or 16:9 horizontal format. Landscape format images will always appear larger than their portrait format equivalents.

So, his advice to make vertical format images as wide as possible seems to me to mean: make your images as *big* as possible on the projector screen.

I'm sure we've all thought about this when selecting portrait format images for competitions. At Bradford PS, we had a 'friendly' print competition, where the biggest prints often won. It seems obvious to me that size really matters.

Maybe, if we don't want to consciously or unconsciously favour one format over the other, digital images should be submitted within a square black background.

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