Sunday, November 24, 2013

Making Photo Cropping Choices

There are actually people who think cropping photos is a sin against photography. Seriously? Isn't the point of photography visual expression? Cropping is a fundamental tool. There are a lot of rules created about photography, especially by those who can't figure out composition and visual expression.

The picture below is a crop of the one I posted previously. I don't think it is better or worse, just different. There is no reason to prefer one over the other. I did lighten up the the photo a bit and saturate it slightly. If I were printing this I would spend more time fussing over it.

Note that there is "negative space" in front of the lead deer to the left. That is very deliberate. It is a pretty standard composition strategy to leave space in front of the direction of movement.

This photo is also cropped vertically. I try to place a linear subject along the 3rd lines. Also there is the two tree trunks with roots on the right. I will generally place the vertex of the intersecting 3rd lines between 2 elements that are participating in the composition. These 2 trunks meet that criterion.  Note also, there is not only movement right to left, these trees and roots reinforce the right-to-left sensibility of the composition.

Are these cropping ideas rules? Nope, they are suggested starting points, ways of thinking. If you think differently that pleases me. My concern is that you think about what you do, not whether you agree with me.

The final crop came in at 288 dpi. That is good enough for a pretty good sized print, bigger than most people might want. Might be fun to hack this around in black and white.

Whitetails Crossing the Buffalo (Crop)

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