On a family vacation, I took pictures with my Xperia Z4 that gives image sizes of 3840 pixels × 2160 pixels.

I would now like to print all photos with image size 102mm × 152mm (4″ × 6″).

What do I need to do to do this? I tried an online printing service but the resulting images are either trimmed or have whitespace around the top/bottom edges. If I try resizing, then the aspect ratio is lost and the image looks stretched.

Is there a way to print the images with a size of 102mm × 152mm (4" × 6") without losing the aspect ratio and edges being trimmed or having a whitespace?

  • In the early days of widescreen TVs, a number of solutions were tried to make the aspect ratios of old and new work together. One interesting option was to let the center of the image be at the normal aspect ratio but gradually stretch it out as you got closer to the edge. The same thing could be done with your pictures but it would require custom software. The pictures would either need to be stretched vertically or compressed horizontally, or a combination of both. Mar 7, 2019 at 4:21

5 Answers 5


3840 x 2160 px means an aspect ratio of 16:9 - it is the reduced fraction of the pixel values:

3840:2160 -> (:20) -> 192:108 -> (:6) -> 32:18 -> (:2) -> 16:9

Since your images have an aspect ratio of 16:9 and 6" x 4" prints have an aspect ratio of 3:2, something will have to give:

  • Either you live with the white space,
  • or something needs to be cropped away (so 3240 x 2160 px),
  • or the aspect ratio will be adapted, thus stretching your images on the y-axis,
  • or you print in 16:9, e.g. 4.5" x 8"

If you choose to crop them, there is a wide variety on both free and non-free programs to do this: Photoshop, GIMP (free), or virtually any other image tool (IrfanView (free), XnView (free), Lightroom, Capture One, Darktable (free), DigiKam (free), RawTherapee (free), ...) can do this. I would rather crop something away myself, as you have control over what exactly gets cut away (e.g. perhaps the left side is filled with a concrete wall, but on the right side are people you would not want to get trimmed away.)

If you decide that in the future, you want to capture the images in 3:2 to reduce post-production work, then you can change the aspect ratio in your camera app's settings (at least Open Camera, Google Camera and FV-5 can do this).

  • 1
    How do I print in 16:9? Does that mean choosing a different print size? If so, what print size corresponds to it?
    – user82374
    Mar 2, 2019 at 11:26
  • 2
    @user82374 what are you trying to do? Ultimately. Is this something to do with framing? Or what?
    – osullic
    Mar 2, 2019 at 14:51
  • 1
    On the cropping option: every online print service I've used provides an interface to select the crop for different print shapes.
    – mattdm
    Mar 2, 2019 at 17:43
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    @user82374 16:9 is 6" x 3.375". How you get it is to print with white space top and bottom then use scissors to remove the white space to get a 6" x 3.375" picture
    – slebetman
    Mar 2, 2019 at 17:59
  • 1
    scissors or, much better, a paper trimmer
    – osullic
    Mar 2, 2019 at 19:43

Strange question...

You don't want to crop, you don't want borders, you don't want to stretch the image...but you want to somehow put one rectangle into another rectangle of a different aspect ratio.

Those are the only options. What other options could there be?

It's like putting a round peg in a square hole. Well, a rectangular peg in a rectangular hole. This isn't specific to photography - it's just geometry.


First, let's help you ask the question correctly. What you should ask from now on is:

Is the aspect ratio preserved between these two sizes?

The answer in this case is no and here I explain how you can answer this question yourself in the future:

Aspect ratio can be represented as a fraction or a decimal. In this instance, aspect ratio represented as a decimal is more useful to us. There is a simple rule you can follow in the future.

If the aspect ratio of the two sizes do not match, you will need either cropping, bars, stretching or distortion to make it fit. You can calculate Aspect Ratio by dividing the Width by the Height.

3840/2160   (Aspect Ratio: 1.778)   (16/9 = 1.778)

6/4         (Aspect Ratio: 1.5  )   ( 3/2 = 1.5  )

Not Possible because the Aspect Ratios do not match.

Here is an example of two different sizes where the aspect ratio is preserved which is what you want:

3840/2160   (Aspect Ratio: 1.778)   (16/9 = 1.778)

1920/1080   (Aspect Ratio: 1.778)   (16/9 = 1.778)

Possible because the Aspect Ratios match.


I'm not aware of any online printing service which offers any print sizes with a 16×9 aspect ratio. That's a little odd because of how standard 16×9 has become because of the TV standard, but... there it is.

Assuming you don't want to crop, your only option is to print on larger paper with whitespace, and then trim that whitespace. I recommend a rotary paper trimmer — you can get a good one for less than $50. (To keep them cutting cleanly you will eventually need replacement blades, but, eh, good for that price for a while.)

Then, print on 4×6" and trim to 3⅜×6" (because 3.375 is ⁹⁄₁₆ths of 6). Or start with 5×7" and trim to ... just under 4 inches. (Or use the same idea on even larger prints, but price per print will go up significantly.)

One thing to be aware of: most print shops will actually trim something from the edges of the frame even when the aspect ratio matches. That's how the right-to-the-edge thing works without the shop needing to be super-precise. So, if your images are already composed and framed how you like and you want to avoid this, you need to print with whitespace and trim yourself anyway.

  • 1
    Regarding 16:9 prints, I have used printers in sweden that only specifies height (thinking in landscape orientatio) of the images and then cuts them to perserv aspect ratio. If you upload a mixed batch of adpect ratios you get a mixed batch of print sizes with a common height.
    – lijat
    Mar 2, 2019 at 17:46

You can’t.

You camera took pictures for viewing on tv In 16:9 (1.77:1 aspect ratio) 4x6 prints are 1.5:1 aspect ratio

You’re image is wider than your paper. You can trim off some of the left/right of the image Or You can have white bands on the top (Having a warped aspect is a bad idea, especially shrinking it width, as people dont like looking fatter (thicker) except Kardashians.

Cropping the images left &/or right is probably the easiest Solution

Many printers will do an auto CENTERED crop if you ask. You will be trimming a LOT of the edges of your image so i would recommend do it manually yourself. You need to crop 1.1” off the left/right combined

  • especially shrinking it width, as people dont like looking fatter (thicker) - on the contrary: shrinking the width (thus stretching the height) will make people look slimmer, not wider. Still, it is a bad idea.
    – flolilo
    Mar 3, 2019 at 18:06

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