I believe that a picture’s aspect ratio, its width divided by its height, should be tuned to its contents. Consequently, I am not a slave to standard aspect ratios and print sizes like the ones shown in the following table.
Aspect Ratio Print Sizes (Short/Long) (Inches) --------------- ------------------------ 0.5 4x8, 5x10, 8x16, 10x20 0.7 3.5x5, 7x10 0.666666667 4x6, 8x12, 10x15, 12x18 0.714285714 5x7 0.772727273 8.5x11
Over the years I have clipped and cropped my pictures producing a large number of nonstandard ratios. This is not a problem until I decide to order prints.
Pictures sites like SmugMug offer many standard sizes but they cannot accommodate every crank with an aspect to grind. To print a strangely shaped picture on SmugMug you have to open up the website’s print selection tool and fit one side or your picture to a standard print size. This leaves part of the print blank and is often called the letterbox method. Letterboxing is not ideal but it gets the job done.
For standard print sizes there is a much better way. The following J verb takes the pixel dimensions of my images and computes standard, 300 DPI, print size keys like: 4×6, 5×7 and 8×10. After assigning print size keys you can select and print all standard sizes with a few mouse clicks.