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I’ve run into a couple situations over the past month that have inspired this blog post. The topic is something I didn’t know until I became a photographer, and I’m guessing a lot of you may not know about it either.
Have you ever gone to print one of your photos into an 8×10″ print and when you get it back, you wonder why it looks different that the photo did in your camera? Or maybe someone on the edge of the photo was cut out of the 8×10 print?
What the heck happened, right? I’m here to tell you why that happened!
Here’s the explanation in the simplest terms I can come up with. Hold on to your hats:
Most cameras take photos that will print as perfect 4×6 sized prints. That’s the most commonly printed size, so that’s why most cameras have their print ratio as a 4×6 size.
Here’s where the math comes in. A 4×6 print can be enlarged into an 8×12 print right? Each side is just doubled in length. 4[x2] by 6[x2] = 8×12. That means that an 8×12 inch print should look exactly like your 4×6 print does, except it’s just 4 times bigger.
Flash back to junior high math?? Each side is 2 times longer, so the whole photo is 2×2 or 4 times larger.
So! What does that mean for an 8×10 inch photo?
You got it! The 8×12 inch photo has to have 2 inches cut off in order to make it an 8×10.
Here are some visual examples.
Here is a 4×6 photo from one of this summer’s sessions. This is what the print looked like without any cropping; it came out of my camera framed like this.