Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Locked in 16:9

If you think about filming a single person, it seems strange that film and video are wider than tall. After all, humans are upright and taller than even the widest reach of their arms. However, the reason must be the influence of gravity, that pesky force, that says that we all walk around on essentially a plane. We interact with other people and objects in that horizontal plane, so we need a wider lens to capture a group of people.

With still pictures, people became very comfortable with turning a physical print on its side to see a long shot. Then when digital photography took hold, programs became adept at rotating the photograph 90 degrees.

With digital video, the standard of television, 4:3, or widescreen, 16:9, are the oonly available sizes. If the video will eventually be displayed on a television, including the new rage, widescreen monitors, then it makes sense to keep the video in the standard view. But for a computer video, like the type that I have posted to our family blog, it would be better to turn the camera on it's side, and then rotate the video in the computer by 90 degrees to show Garrett in the majority of the window. A choice of 9:16 or 3:4 would be a nice addition to video editing software in an age of video blogs and easy file exchange.

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