Images can come in a wide range of aspect ratios, which is the main reason for why an image will not fit as intended.
Aspect ratio is "the ratio of the width to the height of an image or screen". Most pictures are taken in an aspect ratio of 4:5 aspect ratio (which translates to 8x10, 16x20, etc). With panoramic shots or cropped images, this can change the aspect ratio.
Changing the Aspect Ratio
We cannot change the aspect ratio on images, short of cropping them. When uploading your image you may see it doesn't fit the entire picture on the canvas.
This image of a map of the United States is a great example!
This was uploaded for the 16x20 size, but you can see that it doesn't fit completely. A bit of both the left and right sides are cropped off. We can move it over one way or the other, but then it will crop off more of the opposite side. We cannot "grow" the area, or zoom out, as there is no extra space above or below, so there is no image to take up those areas.
Pictures in Frames
A good way to think about it is a picture in a frame. When getting a frame, you always want to get the perfect size for your image. If you have a photograph that is 8x12, an 8x10 frame will not fit because it will crop the image out of the frame. If you get a frame that's too large (such as a 10x12), it will fit lengthwise, but then there is that extra space above it that the photograph cannot fill (as there is no more photograph).
The frame, like the canvas, needs to fit the aspect ratio of the image.
What Can We Do?
A picture can certainly be manipulated to fit a certain aspect ratio, but none are ideal solutions:
- Cropping - This is what our site offers, and will crop the image to fit the aspect ratio of the size you have chosen
- Squashing/Stretching - This is not something we offer, and is not recommended. This would be to either stretch the image or squash it to fit the new size. It can result in things looking unnatural (especially when blown up to print on canvas). This editing can also cause pixelation to the image, due to editing.
- New Size/Image - This is the ideal solution, finding the size that perfectly fits your image (or the image that perfectly fits your canvas size)