I'm interested in the effects of aspect ratio on perception in photography, looking for detailed research. Could anyone recommend books, courses, research papers on the subject?

I've looked on google scholar but aspect ratio is a broad subject that has different meanings in different fields, thus I couldn't find anything relevant.

Aspect ratio can be chosen at the time of shooting, but also in post processing (Here is a thread on when to make the choice).

Knowing the theory behind it would help when making the creative decision of choosing a specific aspect ratio.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't have a problem with the topicality. My concern is that it's a request-to-search rather than a request for direct information. That generally doesn't work well. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Jun 1, 2016 at 14:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ I was thinking that most enthusiasts have read a book or two, or studied the field and have a deeper knowledge than search engines \$\endgroup\$
    – base
    Jun 1, 2016 at 14:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think cogsci stack exchange will have that same basic issue: it's a request to create a bibliography, which at best is an open-ended problem. I'd rather see it edited to actually ask the end-goal question, with a note that well-referenced answers are preferred. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Jun 1, 2016 at 17:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ideally with "on perception" better defined. (What is "perception" in this context, and how are we measuring it?) \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Jun 1, 2016 at 17:09
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Basile, can you clarify your question a bit? There seems to be confusion over where this applies, if it applies at all in StackExchange. You seem to think the question is a better fit in a photography context. If that is indeed true, then perhaps an update to your question to clarify what it is you are looking for a bit more might help us determine either fit or make the question answerable. \$\endgroup\$
    – jrista
    Jun 1, 2016 at 22:37

1 Answer 1


There simply isn't enough research and conclusions to draw any relevant results for "end users" in this case Photographers. Some research on the subject though as requested:

Effects of Aspect-ratio and Size of Photographs upon the Depth Impression and the Depth Perception on their Scenes

Effects of aspect-ratios and sizes of both photographic images and their surrounding frames on the evaluation of their Kansei-impressions

But really you'd be better off with less scientific stuff most likely such as this: The Effect of Choosing and Changing Aspect Ratios in Film.

You'd likely get better and more useful information by contacting the author of one of these documents, a professor of cognitive science, or asking on CogSci.Stackexchange

  • \$\begingroup\$ Ryan, meta commentary is not appropriate for an answer. If you think this question should be migrated to a different site, please start a question on meta, don't write it in an answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Philip Kendall
    Jun 2, 2016 at 14:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PhilipKendall It is relevant to the answer as I also state the rational - there simply isn't enough research on the subject to draw any sort of useful conclusions. It is not appropriate for you to change the meaning of my answer by removing that. I will compromise with you and reword the first, and only the first, sentence. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 2, 2016 at 14:17

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