For those of you that are mathematically challenged....you know who you are. You're the ones that gave a big sign when you read the words "aspect ration" in the paragraph above. But worry not, I'm going to make this really easy to understand. Aspect ratio is the proportions of an image referred to in width to height. For example a 3:1 aspect ratio would refer to a print that is 30 inches wide by 10 inches high. The problem is when we talk about photographs we normally use sizes that refer to the short side first for example 4x6 or 8x10 so for the sake of clarity we will refer to aspect ratios with the short side first.
A 4x6 image has an aspect ratio of 2:3 or you can also think about it like a math problem, 2 by 3 if you double both numbers you have 4 by 6 or 4x6.
Now we'll look at another common photographic size 8x10. The aspect ratio of an 8x10 print is 4:5. To figure out what a prints aspect ratio is you would take the two numbers and begin to break them down proportionally to their lowest common denominator. Lets take the example of a 16x20 print, if you proportionally divide both numbers 16 and 20 by 2 you get 8x10, then divide both of those numbers by two again and you get 4x5. 4:5 is the aspect ratio of an 8x10, 16x20 and 24x30.
When discussing panoramic images the aspect ratio can be anywhere from 1:2 up to as wide or wider than 1:10. Most panoramic images will fall into the category or 1:2, 1:2.5, 1:3 or 1:4. Below are examples of how the different aspect ratios compare.
